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iiran^Iattb from iht IfoxntjT-tigljtlj ßtxmmx ^Viixon, 

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" Find tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, 
Sermons in stones, and GOD in everything." 





Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1851), by 
In the Clerk s Oflice of the District Court for the District of Massachusetts. 


In introducing Gotthold's Emblems to the American public, 
the publishers feel assured it will receive a cordial welcome from 
Christian readers. It is, indeed, a matter of surprise, that a work 
of such preeminent merit should have circulated in German homes 
for nearly two centuries, without finding an English translator. Its 
popularity, in Germany, on its first appearance, was not inferior 
to that of the best productions of Luther, in the previous century. 
More than twenty editions were rapidly issued, to meet the eager 
demand ; and when at length it had fallen into a temporary oblivion, 
the extraordinary value attached to stray copies by the families in 
which they were heir-looms, made it difficult for an editor to obtain 
a single copy, even for use in preparing a new edition. The pub- 
lishers are not aware that any work of its precise character is to 
be found in the English language, and they feel assured it will 
supply an important defect in our devotional literature. It will 



aid devout Christians to look with open eye on the wonderful 
works of God, which need to be " sought out of all them that have 
pleasure therein." The inspired writers found a stimulus to pro- 
found Christian feeling in the contemplation of the works of nature ; 
and the psalmist and prophets soared to their sublimest flights of 
devotion, when listening to the mystic strains in which the heavens 
and earth and the great deep chanted the praises of God. Every 
thoughtful Christian ought to see, like them, in his daily walks, con- 
vincing proof that the God of nature is also the God of the Bible, 
and find his soul quickened to praise by beautiful and suggestive 
emblems of a wise and loving and omnipotent Creator. 

The volume has been prepared from the English edition in two 
volumes. The order of the English translator has not, in all cases, 
been strictly adhered to ; and a few of the " meditations," which 
seemed less freighted with devotional feelings, and whose subjects or 
mode of treatment might be thought objectionable by some fastidious 
readers, have been omitted. 

If the work shall be received with that favor which the publishers 
anticipate, it will be followed by a second volume, compiled from 
other " meditations," some of which have not yet been translated. 


which is here presented to the English 
IJ} reader belongs to a class of which the import- 
ation from Germany into this country has been compar- 
atively small. We have received large snpj)lies of her 
scientific theology, in the shape of expositions of ScrijD- 
ture and histories of the Church and its doctrine. We 
have also received a few admirable specimens of her 
practical divinity, such as the Sermons of Krummacher. 
But, with her strictly devotional literature, we are, as 
yet, with the solitary though noble exception of Bogatz- 
ky's "Golden Treasury," almost entirely unacquainted. 
This, however, is just the field in which the deep senti- 
ment which forms the prominent feature in the character 
of the nation, and lends so powerful a charm to their 
poetry and music, seems peculiarly to fit the Germans to 
excel, — nay, it is the field in which they have in fact 
excelled. Their literature is rich in works addressed to 
the religious affections, and designed to feed the lamp 


of faith, and fan the flame of devotion in the heart, and 
which occii})y, in their pious families, the place occupied 
in our own by the " Saint's Everlasting Rest," Dod- 
dridge's "Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul," 
Flavel's "Token for Mourners," and Hervey's "Medita- 
tions." For instance. Dr. Tholuck's Stunden der Andacht 
stands preeminent among all modern productions of this 
class. It is a work without a rival in any language, and 
loudly calls for some skilful pen to transplant it worthily 
into our own. And here is another, nearly two centuries 
old, but still instinct with the vigor and freshness of youth, 
which reappears, like the spirit of a departed saint, and 
claims audience, while, in accents strangely SAveet and 
solemn, it discourses to us of eternal things. 

To satisfy the natural curiosity of the reader, the follow- 
ing particulars respecting the author and his work are 
premised. They are borrowed from the twenty-eighth 
edition of it, which was published at Barmen in 1846, and 
is the one from which the present translation has been 

Christian Scriver was born on the 2d January, 1629, at 
Rendsburg, studied at Rostock, was appointed deacon at 
Stendal in 1653, pastor of the Church of St. James', at 
Magdeburg, in 1667, and court preacher and consistorial 
councillor at Quedlinburg in 1690, where, on the 5th of 
April, 1693, he departed this life. 



The honors and applause paid by his contemporaries to 
this richly gifted minister of the pure word of God, are 
almost Avithout a parallel. Xot only was he so precious 
and dear to his congregation at Magdeburg, that, accord- 
ing to his own public testimony, at parting from them, 
they would, if possible, "have lolucked out and given him 
their eyes;" but he inspired the warmest affection in 
Christian brethren, in quarters far beyond the narrow 
limits of his personal labors, and frequently received from 
them addresses full of acknowledgment and gratitude. 
The Queen of Sweden (at that time the first and most 
powerful Protestant kingdom in the world) invited him to 
be her spiritual guide and court preacher at Stockholm; 
and he wept, and was inconsolable, when, feeling the in- 
firmities of age, and prompted by modesty and attachment 
to his flock and sorely afflicted fatherland, he declined the 
honorable call. The most eminent theologians of the day 
also looked up to him with boundless esteem, and humbly 
yielded the palm to one Avho was himself the humblest of 
them all. The celebrated Spener often extolled Scriver, and 
says, " In iiim I am sensible of a much richer measure of 
grace than has been allotted to myself." In one passage, 
he longs for tlie opportunity of once more, in this present 
life, seeing and conversing witli that chosen friend of God, 
as a mercy for which he would require specially to thank 
the Lord. Dr. Pritius, J. F. Buddeas, and Chr. Eb. Weis- 



mann, in writings tliat survive, are, in like manner, full of 
Iiis praise. The last designates him as " an excellent in- 
strument of God, a man of genuine piety, holy eloquence, 
spiritual discernment, and fascinating power." Scriver's 
numerous writings were read, apjDlauded, and almost de- 
voured, wherever the German language Avas known, and 
the evangelical clmrcli possessed living members ; and the 
principal of them passed through numerous editions, even 
after the author's death. 

That Scriver was afterwards, for a long time, almost 
forgotten, arose, no doubt, partly from the ascendency 
gained, in many ways, by infidelity, and partly, also, from 
the gradual progress made, and the changes undergone, by 
the German language, while no one appeared capable of 
judiciously applying a helping hand, in this respect, to the 
works of our author, whose language, notwithstanding, 
may to this day be, in numberless passages, designated 
truly classical. 

It appears as if he had had a presentiment of the fate 
of his books, when, in a meditation, he says : " All things 
shall bo alike to me, be they lofty, or be they low ; favor 
and afiliction, honor and disgrace ; whichever accords with 
Thy most sweet and lioly pleasure. Come on, world! toss 
me to and fi'o, up and down, on the bench or under it, 
into the light or into the dark corner. To me it is the 
same ; toss me where thou wilt, there shall my God find 



me, and thence will He one day draw me forth." This is 
exactly what he has experienced in his writings. lie was 
tossed to and fro, up and down, under the bench, and into 
the dark corner, but God has again brought him forth into 
the light. 

His works had entirely disappeared out of the book- 
sellers' shops, when some stray copies of them, almost 
entirely decayed, and secretly valued by their owners as 
the legacy of pious ancestors,^ but generally despised, ridi- 
culed, and rejected, fell into the hands of some Christian 
and judicious men, who were not deterred from reading 
and examining them, either by the dust which time had 
accumulated on their boards, or yet by the partially anti- 
quated language of the contents. They instantly felt that 
the Spirit of God and of genuine Christianity, breathed 
out of the sallow pages, — and began to vie with each 
other, and with his admirers of a bygone age, in praising 
mvl applauding the author. " Scriver," says one of them, 
" is Imninous as the Alpine peaks, when the sun rises in 
Iiis grandeur; shaiy as the sword of Gideon, sv^eet as 
honey and the honeycomb, gentle as vernal dew in the 
glimmer of the moon, fruitful as a garden which God has 
blessed, and CJtristian as an apostle." " Confessions of 

1 The editor of tha twenty-third edition of Gotthold's E>rBLEMS states, as 
we of his difficulties, the impopsibility of procurinp^ a copy of the work, iia 
the parties who possessed it refused to pa \ with it for any price! 



Faith," as another testifies, " can liincler no one from draw- 
ing from tliis fountain ; for Scriver was a Christian, and 
lived npon the heights of Christianity — high above the 
strifes of pride." To collect all that has been said or Avrit- 
ten in his j^raise, would fill a volume. We cannot, how- 
ever, refrain from quoting a few detached sentences from 
the most recent biography of Scriver, by Pastor Brauns, 
written generally in a strain of almost hymnal panegyric. 
" Scriver," it is said, " had no equal in his day. In the 
spacious halls of Scripture, he wanders up and down, more 
at home than in his own house. lie plays on its thousand 
strings, like David on his harp, without one false note. He 
is never beneath and never above^ but alwaj^s at the vital 
centre of the word. From that the stream of his discourse 
flows forth, clear as the crystal spring of Siloa, and strong 
as the flood of Jordan, descending from Lebanon through 
the flowery borders of the Holy Land. His preaching is a 
tempest in the sky, a gentle May shower dropping through 
the sunshine upon the parched land, gleams of lightning, 
that terrify tlie night ; peals of thunder making the earth 
tremble under the foot of the traveller. But come and 
see. Do more; read the works of this old Psalmist." — 
"As the fi'uit of his unparalleled familiarity with Scrip- 
ture, and a faith in it so firm, that, far from excluding any 
essential \>{n% he will not so much as pass a letter with 
indiflerence, Scriver evinces a profound piety, conscious at 



every moment, and in every place, of being encompassed, 
upheld, and cherished by God, and which visibly sees and 
palpably feels His universal agency. In short, a conscious- 
ness of the Deity is as much his vital element, as water is 
to the fish. A bird in the air, a flower by the wayside, 
every thorn-bush he meets, arrests him ; he cannot choose, 
but stop and contemplate, adore and exult." _ " Scriver is 
always before God, in God, and icith God. God is present 
to him in nature, in history, in every occurrence, hov»^ever 
trivial and unimportant. The Divine Being, Will, Decrees, 
and Grace, it is the equally delightful and imperative task 
of his life to discover in all that is or happens, to proclaim 
with gratitude and praise, and emphatically to recommend 
for the elevation of the heart." "As he gazes, listens, and 
sinks his affections into the infinity of the Divine love, 
Scriver is sometimes, as it were, transported out of himself. 
Intoxicated with the vision of God, his whole being dis- 
solves into love, gratitude, and praise." " His life was a 
life in God. As he could not but eat and drink, so he 
could not but pray. To omit this duty, or regard it as 
useless, is to him an abhorrence and abomination. A holy 
nnger seizes him when his eye alights upon the atheists of 
his day." " If any clergyman needs a spiritual guide, let 
him choose Scriver. He is the preacher for preachers, full 
of consolation and enccfuragement to the well-meaning, but 
a storm of hail to the fiithless and slothful pastor." 



" The Emblems (or, according to their original title, " In- 
cidental Devotions ") form a costly set of j^ure and genu- 
ine diamonds, and each of them reflecting heaven. It is 
a book for all men, from the beggar on his pallet of straw, 
to the prince upon his throne." — (Pastor Wimraer.) 
" With a strangely child-like eye, and charming lips, Scri- 
ver leads us forth into nature, as into a vault of mirrors, 
from which the image of God everywhere shines forth." 
— (The Berlin Literarische Zeitimg.) "In these medita- 
tions, Scriver displays a talent for discovering in the leaf 
of the tree, and in the flower by the wayside, the great- 
ness, glory, and infinitude of the Divine love, and intro- 
duces nature, on every occasion, as an ambassadress sent 
by God for our instruction, consolation, and warning ; and 
this he does with an artlessness and simplicity, of which 
we shall hardly find a parallel in the whole circle of our 
books of devotion." — (Pastor Brauns.) We have ex- 
cluded a number of pieces and paragraphs which seemed 
of less general interest, and in others have with a ciuitious 
hand smoothed the asperities of language. 

The translator has only to add, that the rest of the 
Meditations will be forthcoming, in due time, if there shall 
appear to be any wish on the jDart of the public to receive 

^ (3 oh I from this time at which he now completes his 

work, and gives it to the light, it is just a year since Thy ser- 

vant was at the point of death, and in the eyes of many was even already 
dead. I had brought the " Incidental Devotions " down as far as " The 
Rod," when it pleased Thee to judge me worthy of experiencing the truth 
of what I had written concerning it. My strength departed, my coun- 
tenance became wan and emaciated, my tongue cleaved for weakness 
to the roof of my mouth, and could scarcely tell the physicians how 
sorely parched my body was with fever. My nails were white. Faint 
and scarcely audible was the beating of my heart. I had bid farewell 
to my dear friends, and with joyful longing (as Thou knowest) counted 
the hours, after the lapse of which I hoped to be with Thee, and 
to enjoy Thine ineffable glory. There were believing souls, however, 
who, with a thousand tears and sighs, lay prostrate at Thy feet, and 



implored of Thee to spare my life. And so it seemed good to Thy 
mercy to add to the number of my years. Thou didst strengthen and 
raise me up. I was n/adc a miracle and monument of Thine Almighty 
power and goodness. Thou hast showed to myself and others that 
our God is the God of salvation, and that with God the Lord belong 
the issues from death. What else, then, can I do, but thank Thee 
for Thy faithfulness? My lips and my soul, which Thou hast redeemed, 
shall rejoice in Thee, and sing Thy praise; and to Thee this life, 
mercifully gi-anted a second time, shall be henceforth consecrated. 

It is true, my Father! that a worse thing afterwards befel me. 
One cross was made to succeed another. Thou tookest away the delight 
of mine eyes, I could have said of my heart, had I not thought such 
a name too much for a mortal creature. I had received from Thee 
an image which I bore about in ni}' bosom, as the visible mark of 
Thy favor, and loved it for the graces and vh-tues which Thou hadst 
impressed upon it. Alas, my God! well do I remember how the dear 
soul, when she saw my danger, cast herself upon her face before Thee, 
and with so many deep sighs and bm'ning tears, offered her life as 
the ransom for mine, — how she forgot herself, and had no eyes but 
for Thee and me — for Thee, from whom she expected consolation and 
help — for me, whose life her love to Thee and myself made her 



prefer to her own. And Thou wert pleased to make the exchange — 
leaving me among mortals to serve Thee and the church militant, but 
enrolling her, to Thy eternal glory, among the immortals of the church 
triumphant. Thou hast delivered her soul from anguish and death, 
her eyes from tears, and her feet from falling, and now she walks 
before Thee in the land of life. Dear was she to me, as Thou knowest, 
above all things in or of this Avorld, the sun and joy of my house. 
What more should Thy servant say? Lord, Thou scest how my heart 
fills at this remembrance, and how it melts me into tears. And yet 
why should I weep for one from whose eyes all tears have been wpcd 
away? Why mom'n for her who shall mourn no more? Why sigh 
for a saint who has left behind her in this world a blessed and holy 
memorial, and is now amid the choirs of angels, singing the new song 
with Thine elect, and exulting in Thy salvation? I have lost a jewel 
in time, but I know it is kept in heaven, and I hope to recover it 
there, and to lose it no more forever. 

It was amidst these and other crosses that the following meditations 

sprang up, and made their appearance, like flowers beneath a thorny 

hedge. If they possess any scent of life, any power of Thy Spirit, 

any of the honey of Thy goodness, which believing souls, like hungiy 

bees, assiduously seek, to Thee, Father! and to the dear Cross, be 




all the thanks. At Thy feet I now humbly lay this bunch of flowers 
of affliction, asking of Thee one only boon, which is, that Thou wilt 
now and forever be my gracious God and Father. For whom have I 
in heaven but Thee? and there is none upon earth whom I desire 
beside Thee. 

Thy servant forever, 


Magdeburg, 16th August, 1671. 


f%)Ijrisimn ^iCate! m the name of the Lord 

Jesus, I here present to you a collection of de- 

vout thoughts, which suggested themselves on various 
occasions to a fellow-pilgrim, called Gotthold, and which 
I received from his mouth, and have taken the pains to 
write down. 

For this I desire no other praise save that which it well 
becomes a Christian preacher and minister of the Word 
to seek — the praise of faithfully and diligently promoting 
the glory of his God, and the good of his neighbor. 

My object in this book was to make the creatures 
converse with thee, or rather to expound and interj^ret 
their secret language, and, according to my ])00y ability, 
show how all kinds of objects, incidents, and events, may 
be made to remind thee of thy God, and to promote thy 
comfort and growth in Christianity. We read with won- 



der Low Balaam's ass spoke; it seems to me, however, 
that the irrational, and even the dumb creatures, all si:)eak 
to us, from day to day, and from hour to hour, if only 
we have ears to hear, and hearts to understand them. 
How otherwise could Job say, "Ask now the beasts, and 
they shall teach thee : and the fowls of the air, and they 
shall tell thee; or speak to the earth, and it shall teach 
thee; and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee"?^ 
or David aver that "The heavens declare the glory of 
God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork"?^ 

Long ago it used to be said that there was a noble- 
man in France, in Avhose domains all the wood and 
stone, when split or hewn, bore the owner's coat-of-arms, 
depicted upon them by nature. I shall not inquire into 
the truth of the story; but at least it is certain, that 
the man of piety and observjition finds in all the creatures 
the mark, name, and arms, of his benign and merciful 
God, and, in these, occasions more fervently to love and 
praise Him. The Book of ISTature — to say the same 
thing in other words — has many thousand leaves, upon 
all of which the finger of God has inscribed His good- 
ness, and He scatters them in every place, that we may 

1 Job xii. 7, 8. 2 Ps. xix. 1. 



never want the opportunity of contemplating the height 
and depth of His love. Happy the man who reads, and 
devoutly meditates upon them! 

It appears to me as if every morning I beheld for the 
first time this vast theatre of the Divine miracles, the 
world. Every morning His mercy is new to me. I am 
never satisfied with beholding the displays of His glory 
alike in the mighty firmament, the sj^angled heavens, and 
other such immense bodies, as in small and humble ob- 
jects. It happens to me like the hen, who frequently 
finds a grain of wheat even upon a dunghill. 

Let no one imagine that by compositions of this kind 
I introduce a novelty. lü^^o; the devout contemplation 
of nature, and " Incidental Devotions," are as old as the 
world. Even Adam, the first whom the Most High en- 
feofted into the possession of the globe, read upon all its 
objects the name of His Creator, and, like the bee, tasted 
the sweetness of His love in every little flower. The 
Lord Himself set up the rainbow in the clouds for the 
contemplation of ISToah, and brought Abraham abroad in 
the night, and bade him look to the starry heavens» 
And, doubtless, it was no superficial glance which the 
holy patriarchs took of the creation ; doubtless they. 



too, found in it tliemes for devout reflection of all 

King David, as it appears, composed the forty-second 
psalm while listening to the lowing of the deer in the 
wilderness, to which he was forced to flee for shelter 
and concealment. Even He who was the greatest and 
most exalted of all teachers, has not only directed us to 
contemplate the creation, but Himself endeavored from 
every casual object to reap instruction for His hearers, 
and, by the things which perish, to acquaint them with 
the things which endure. As He sat upon a well. He 
began to speak to the Samaritan woman of the water 
which springeth up unto eternal life.^ While walking, as 
is suj)posed, out of the city of Jerusalem, He observed 
the vineyards and clusters by the wayside, and took 
occasion to compare Himself to a vine, His heavenly 
Father to the husbandman, and His followers to the 
branches.^ On the last day of the Feast of Taberna- 
cles, He saw the Jews drawing water from the fountain 
of Siloam, and began to testify to them once more of 
spiritual and living water ; and, being invited to a feast, 
He embraced the o^Dportunity to discourse of the great 

1 John iy. 6, etc. 2 John xv. 1, etc. 


Gospel Supper.^ In the same way, the Apostle Paul 1 

took the hint from the altar of the Athenians to preach \ 
of the one living and true God. 

In subsequent and even more recent times, many able, j 

pious, and learned divines have trodden in the footsteps j 

of those forerunners, as might be exemplified by instances, | 

were it not superfluous. j 

Xo one surely will censure the attempt to prevent evil | 

thoughts, and supply their place by promoting, on every \ 
occasion, serious and devout reflection upon God and 
divine things. My hope at least is, that the reader of 
this book, when he afterwards meets with any of the 

objects here made the theme of meditation, will recall j 

one or more of the thoughts. Perhaps, too, even the j 

preacher may learn from it, when in company, or at a j 

feast, in his walks, or on his travels, how to entertain j 

those around him with the same kind of pleasant, and j 

yet profitable discourse, and so help to make them better j 

Christians. He has but to erect his pulpit, as I have | 

done, wherever necessity or duty demands, remembering i 

that it is possible to speak the truth to every one in par- , 
ticular without, as well as within, the walls of a church ; 

Luke xiy. 16. 



but tliat this must be done with discretion as well as 
piety, if what he says and teaches is to have the right 
flavor. "When medicine is to be taken by a sickly infant, 
the best way is to give it first to the nurse, from whom 
the child imbibes it insensibly with her milk. This duty 
of the nurse the preacher must often j^erform, and convert 
into milk the medicines he j^i'escribes ; I mean he must 
administer them in an agreeable form and courteous way, 
in the right season, and at tlie proper time. 

My intentions at least were good, and though the suc- 
cess may not in every case correspond with the pious 
reader's wish, he will yet take the will for the deed, as 
becomes a Christian, and out of his own fulness supply 
my lack. The Lord bless and prosj^er all the good and 
well-intentioned labors of his faithful ministers, and grant 
tliat they may prove neither fruitless nor unrequited ! 


Magdeburg, 1671. 






SNOW, 35 




































THE LUTE (Second Meditation), 78 















THE HEN, 95 







THE ROSE, 105 



















THE HOP PLA1?T, 127 j 

THE EOD, 129 \ 

DEATH, 181 \ 


THE CLOUDS, 134 ! 








DUST, 145 } 





THE SUN, 153 { 

THE SUN (Seco^^d Meditation), 155 

THE WEED, 156 ' 


THE PIKE, 159 

THE VINE 160 | 


THE GRAFTS, 163 | 






THE BROOK, ^ . . 169 






THE PEARL NECKLACE (Second Meditation), . . . .179 









THE BEE, 192 

HEAVEN, 193 

TEARS, 195 

THE ANTS, ^, ... 197 





THE MILL, 204 




THE LIGHT (Second Meditation), 208 



THE LIGHT (T^rd Meditation), 209 









THE COIN, 222 




THE HEART (Second Meditatioij), 229 

BOOKS, 231 








THE RING, 242 

THE RING (Si:coND Meditation), 243 

WHEAT, 244 








THE PILLOW (Secokd Meditatioi^), 253 

THE riLLOW (Third Meditation), 254 

CEAUTY, 235 



THE WILL, 260 





THE ENEMY, . . . . , 266 


THE DIVISION (Secoi^d Meditation), 269 


THE WASP, 271 




THE BIER, 277 


THE VINE, 280 












THE SORE, 295 
















OT T H L D, on the first morning of a new year, 

wishing to know the time of day, looked up to 

the dial of the church spire, where hands, moved 

by the mechanism within, indicated the hours 

upon a broad line of gilded numbers. Led into 

devout reflection, he observed to those around him : I 

highly approve of marking the hours with letters of 

gold ; it may well admonish us of the value of time, 

which is indeed too precious to be purchased even with 

the chief of metals ; and of this truth many and all of 

us need to be reminded. Chrysaiu^us, a man of rank 

and fortune, had lived an ungodly life ; when his end 

drew near, he beheld a troop of dreadful demons 

standing around his bed, and waiting for his soul, 




and exclaimed with a voice of anguish, Oh ^ for time) 
Only till to-morrow! Spare me till to-morrow! But 
his entreaties were vain. For him time was past, 
and the respite terminated. Ah ! how much he would 
have given for even a few hours in which to repent ! 
And yet how seldom we reflect upon the value of time, 
and how prodigally we spend it ! How large the por- 
tions of it which we sleep, play, talk, eat, drink, riot 
away, and, in short, unprofitably Avaste ; and how long 
we deem the little fragments devoted to spiritual ex- 
ercises, such as converse witli God, the study of His 
Word, devout contemplation, and the search of con- 
science ! The hand upon the dial moves incessantly 
round, and passing hour after hour, will point at last 
to that at which you and I shall die ; and it will be 
said of us, He has departed this life. We shall then 
have done with time, have entered upon eternity, and 
shall stand before the Judge. Let us therefore dili- 
gently improve every hour, and permit none to pass 
without yielding us some advantage for the world to 
come. Let every stroke of the clock remind us that 
another portion of time is gone, and that we shall have 
to give account of it to God. " As ive have opportunity 
(^orig., while we have time) let us do good.''^ 

My God ! seal these words upon my heart, and help 
me to employ the year which is now commencing in a 
way I may never repent of in eternity. 




NE mild winter day, some boys had made a snow- 
ball, and rolled it along until it iiad grown too 
large and heavy for them to move. Here, said 
Gotthold, we have an agreeable emblem of hu- 

» man cares. These are often little and insig- '\ 
nihcant, but we magnify them by impatience and un- \ 
belief, till they become greater than we can bear. j 
Many a one keeps, night and day, revolving his j 
trouble in his mind to no better purpose than these ! 
boys. All they accomplish by their pains is to set up \ 
for those who pass a sign that children have been at 
play, and he gains nothing by his but a head more 
confused, and a heart more sorrowful than before. We < 
are often reluctant to give God the honor of caring for 
us, and, as if He were drowsy or negligent, offer to : 
assist His wisdom by our folly. But we thereby lose 
rather than gain. Besides, what a high offence it is, 
if, when He opens the bosom of His compassion, and 
bids us boldly cast all our cares into it, we treat Him 
with distrust ! 

My God ! Tliou hast formed the eye^ and shalt Thou • 
7iot see ? Thou hast planted the ear, and shalt Thou not j 
Jiearf Thou hast made the heart, and shalt Thou not ] 
take tliought? I will roll my trouble no farther than to | 




Thee, or, if that be beyond my might, I will admit 
Thee into my heart, and show Thee there what is too 
heavy for me. Thou wilt then know, though I maij not^ 
hy what means it may he removed. 


CHILD had continued at play in the open 
air till its hands became livid with cold. At 
length it rushed into the house, and holding 
them to the fire, experienced acute pain, 
which is the usual consequence of subjecting 
benumbed limbs suddenly to the influence of heat. 
Gotthold pitied the little fellow, and then remarked : 
Many and bitter are the pains which prey upon the 
human body in this world ! There are headache, 
toothache, earache, and aches in every limb, more 
numerous than can be told. If, however, even in 
time, and for man's correction, a righteous God sub- 
jects him to sufferings so great, what must be the 
case in hell, when He pours upon the reprobate the 
full measure of His wrath ? In the present instance, 
as we see, the pain proceeds from the conflict of heat 
with cold; and so it will be in hell. The victims 



there will burn in everlasting flames, and at the same 
time wail and chatter with their teeth. Nor can there 
be any comparison between the brief anguish of this 
child, and the torment which shall endure for ever ! 
But so intent are children upon their play, that they 
neither feel the present cold, nor fear the future pain ; 
and we who are older act a similar part. We pursue 
the folly of the world, permit ourselves to be beguiled 
by its paltry pleasures, and all too easily forget the 
penalties which follow sin, both in time and eternity. 

Ah, my God ! subject me to any amount of torment 
in the present life, that will exempt me from the pains 
of hell hereafter ! 

HERE was a deep covering of snow upon the 
ground, when Gotthold thus began: Snow is 
eA^O ^^^^ those marvellous things which God 
brings forth from the treasures of nature ; and 
^ no satisfactory account has yet been given 
of the manner of its production, or of the fantastic 
si 1 apes which its minute particles assume ; although 
able men have made it the subject of long and careful 



study, many of them in fact, till the whiteness of their 
heads attests how often they have seen it fall. This, 
however, is certain, that God uses it according to His 
pleasure, sometimes for the good of man, and some- 
times to his temporal detriment, or even bodily destruc- 
tion. Cold although it be, it must, at His behest, serve 
as a fur to cover and protect the winter's seed. In this 
sense, the royal prophet says, " The Lord giveth snow 
like wool ; " and country people predict a fruitful sea- 
son when the White Goose hatches a numerous brood. 
Kubbed, too, iipon frozen limbs, it restores them to 
warmth and animation. On the other hand, how de- 
structive it becomes when it receives its commission 
fram the Divine wrath ! In mountainous regions, as 
we sometimes hear, a mere flake, stirred at first by the 
touch of a bird's wing, or other accidental cause, grows 
to such a magnitude, as it tumbles from the heights, 
that on reaching the valley, it crushes and entombs the 
abodes of men, and even whole villages and towns. 
How often, too, do we read of the floods and calamities 
which ensue in Spring, when the snow of the moun- 
tains, suddenly dissolved by the rain or heat, rushes 
down and swells the brooks and rivers till they overflow 
their banks ! 

Lord God ! all depends upon Thy favor or frown. 
Thou canst make that which is cold itself a protection 
from cold, and even a moans of goiiorati;:g licat. Bane- 
ful thmgs cease to be baneful when o\'erruled by Thy 



grace. The most useful lose their utility if Thou with- 
hold Thy good influence ; and in Thy hand the most 
minute may become the instrument of a mighty judg- 



tN opulent merchant having received a sum of 
money, was putting the ducats, one by one, 
into a pair of scales, in order to ascertain that 
C^^^ they were not too light. " For my part," said 
Gotthold, who was present, " I should be more 
afraid of their being too heavy." How so ? " inquired 
the merchant. " Do you not think," rejoined Gotthold, 
" that money is too heavy when bedewed with the blood 
of the poor, the sweat of the laborious, and the tears 
of the widow and the orphan ; or when loaded with the 
curses of those who, by fraud or violence, have been 
robbed of it ? I will hope, however, that there are no 
pieces of this description in that heap of yours ; or 
rather, I will not fear that there are any. Suffer me, 
however, without offence, to express the wish that you 
will always make your conscience your scales, and 
weigh in it your dollars and ducats to ascertain that 
they are of proper weight, and have been honestly ac- 



quired. Many a man never learns, until he is strug- 
gling with death, how difficult, or rather impossible, it 
is to force a soul, burdened with unrighteous gain, 
through the strait gate which leadeth unto life. Take 
heed, then, that no such gain ever burdens yours. The 
more he carries, the more the pilgrim sweats and pants 
as he climbs the steep ; and the more the conscience is 
oppressed with dishonesty and fraud, the harder will the 
struggle of a death-bed be." 

0, my God ! withhold from me the wealth to which 
tears, and sighs, and curses cleave. Better none at all 
than wealth like that I 


iHE magistrate of a well-known town, accom- 
panied by some acquaintances, had gone on 
public business to a neighboring village, across 
a frozen river. On their return in the even- 
ing, they did not reflect that the intervening 
thaw might have softened the ice, and rendered it 
unsafe ; and so, unsuspicious of danger, they pro- 
ceeded along, the magistrate taking the lead, con- 
versing with his companions, and expecting soon to 



reach the opposite bank. Alas ! the shore he reached 
was that of death ! Slipping a foot, and the ice break- 
ing, he fell into the water, struggled for a while, and 
sank, leaving a disconsolate widow and several helpless 
children to mourn his fate. Weeks elapsed before hi'-- 
body was found. 

Here, said Gotthold, when he heard the story, wo 
have another instance, which may serve as a mirror 
to show us what we are. Children of men, alas ! what 
is your life but a soft and slippery sheet of ice, which 
breaks, now here, now there, and plunges you, one 
after another, into the flood of death and oblivion. 
This you see, but do not take to heart ; and you pace 
heedlessly along, although at every step the ice bends 
beneath your feet, till in a moment you disappear. 
Wherefore, be at all times ready ; and while life lasts, 
prepare a refuge for your soul, that if suddenly called 
upon to depart, it may know whither to fly. 

Lord God ! be not angry with me. Behold, I take 
upon me to speak unto Thee, although I am but dust 
and ashes. ^ Surprise me not by a sudden death, lest 
it find me unprepared ; neither keep me too long in 
the mortal struggle, that my patience do not fail. But 
I will be dumb and hold my peace, for Thou wilt order 
it aright.^ 

I Gen. xviii. 27. 2 Psalm xxxix. 2. 




YOUNG lady, otherwise well-behaved and es 
teemed, made an idol of the beauty which she 
had received from nature, and often labored 
by ornaments to improve it. For this purpose, 
she had two mirrors in her chamber, placed 
opposite to each other, so that when she stood between 
them, she could see her figure behind as well as before ; 
the one at her back reflecting the image into the one in 
front, and there presenting it to her view. Gotthold 
saw this with some surprise at the ingenuity of the 
device. At the same time he said : Are you aware that 
beauty when unadorned and left to its own native love- 
liness, is often more admired than that which paint and 
ornament have been used to set off. The rose is of it- 
self beautiful and fragrant ; sprinkle it with balm, and 
you will injure its innate perfume. Over-anxiety to he 
beautiful is to he half-ugly. Be moderate, therefore, 
and delight not too greatly in the verdant gourd of 
your comeliness, lest God prepare a worm to smite it 
tliat it wither. I will, however, recommend to you two 
other mirrors, in which you may contemplate yourself 
with profit, — the one is the Past, the other the Future. 
That will show you how great the mercies you have, 
all your life long, received from God, and how small 



the returns of gratitude you have made him ; this will j 

exhibit the various changes which still await you, viz., j 

pale sickness, sorrowful old age, certain death, and at j 

last the terrors of judgment. Or would you prefer two i 

other mirrors ? In that case, set up continually before < 

your eyes the Divine Justice, which sees all things, even I 

our most secret thoughts, and will, in due time, bring \ 
them to judgment ; this will guard you against pride 

and security. On the other hand, look also at the ; 

Divine Mercy which incessantly follows after the sin- ' 

ner, and consumes his transgressions in the flame of \ 

love ; this will keep you from despondency and excess ' 

of sorrow. Such an employment will be as much more j 

profitable than that in which you are now engaged, as I 

the immortal soul is nobler than the vile body. ■ 



RECOLLECT, proceeded Gotthold, having ^ 
been told the following story: A prudent and 
pious lady observing her husband deeply de- 
jected on account of some misfortune which i 
had befallen him, so that he could not sleep ' 

at night for care, pretended in the morning to be still 



more disconsolate than be, and gave way to lamenta- 
tions and tears. As she had spoken cheeringly to him 
the evening before, and exhorted him to dismiss his 
sorrow, he was astonished, and asked the cause of her 
sudden grief Hesitating a little, she replied that she 
had been dreaming, and that it seemed to her that a 
messenger had come from heaven, and brought the 
news that God was dead, and that all the angels were 
weeping. " Foolish woman," said the husband, " you 
know right well that God cannot die!" — "Indeed," 
replied the wife, " and if that be so certain, how comes 
it that you are now indulging your sorrow as immoder- 
ately as if He really did no longer exist, or, at least, as 
if He was unable to set measure and bounds to our 
affliction, or mitigate its severity, or convert it into a 
blessing. My dear husband, learn to trust in Him, and 
to sorrow like a Christian. Think of the old proverb, 

* What need to grieve, 
If God still live.'" 

Yerily, my Father, didst Thou not live, I would not 
myself wish to live another hour! And if sometimes 
Thou fcignest to be dead, I will not cease to rouse Thee 
with my prayers and tears, until I sensibly experience 
again that Thou art the health of my countenance, 
and my God. 




HIS happened one day to be tlie subject of con- 

versation in a company, and almost all who 
_^ were present had instances of it to relate. 
J On inquiring into its causes, some maintained 
that it was owing to the foolish love of wealthy 

parents, who trained their children in youth more to | 
luxury than labor, more to wasting than thrift, and thus '. 
made them bad economists. Others supposed the cause 
to be, that great wealth is seldom amassed by one man, \ 
except at the expense of many others, and without the ! 
tears of widows, and the sweat of the poor, — in short, 
without injustice ; and that for that reason the curse 
of God cleaves to it, and fritters it away. To these 
views Gottliold did not object, aware, in particular 
cases, of their truth. Ho insisted, however, that to the ; 
children of the rich, poverty is a secret blessing, inas- 
much as it takes from them the key which opens all the 
doors of sin ; or, in other words, wealth. Nurtured, he i 
said, as they have been, in superfluity and self-indul- ; 
gence of all kinds, in total ignorance of the cross, and 
insensibility to the hardships and miseries of others, 
they would, if left in this state, care little or nothing j 
for heaven. God, therefore, permits their temporal pos- i 
sessions to melt away, that they may thereby be led to ! 


despise earthly things, and seek, with all the greater 
ardor, those that are heavenly. 

God ! vouchsafe to my children Thy enduring 
grace, and even hi the midst of poverty, they will then 
be rich enough. 



/q^i^OR some purpose. Gotthold had taken from a 
cupboard a vial of rose-water, and, after using 
^ it, had inconsiderately left it unstopped. Ob- 
serving it some time after, he found that all 
the strength and sweetness of the perfume had 
evaporated. This, thought he with himself, is a strik- 
ing emblem of a heart fond of the world, and open to 
the impressions of outward objects. How vain it is 
to take such a heart to the house of God, and fill it 
vrith the precious essence of the roses of paradise, 
which are the truths of Scripture, or raise in it a 
glow of devotion, if we afterwards neglect to close 
the outlet, — that is, to keep the Word in an honest 
and good heart ! ^ How vain to hear much, but to 
retain little and practise less! How vain to excite 

1 Luke viii. 16. 



in our heart sacred and holy emotions, unless we are 
afterwards careful to close the outlet by diligent re- 
flection and prayer, and so preserve it unspotted from 
the world. Neglect this, and the strength and spirit 
of devotion evaporates, and leaves only a lifeless froth 

Lord Jesiis, enable me to keep Thy word like a 
lively cordial in my heart. Quicken it there by Thy 
Spirit and grace. Seal it, also, in my soul, that it 
may preserve for ever its freshness and its power ! 


OTT HOLD, inspecting the operations of a 
goldsmith, who was setting a diamond, saw 
him place a dark leaf in the capsule, which 
it was intended to fill. On inquiring for 
what purpose this was done, he was told 
that it improved the brightness and sparkling of the 
jewel. Reflecting upon the matter, he found that such 
would naturally be the eifect, and exclaimed : My 
God, here I have a type of Thy grace, which shines 
most brightly and beautifully in our deepest distress, 
or when employed to overlay the blackness of our 
guilt. I do not wonder so much that it irradiated 



an Enoch, a Noah, a Daniel, and a Virgin Mary, as 
that it shed its enlightening and quickening rays on 
David the adulterer, on Peter, who denied his Master 
with an oath, on Paul the persecutor and blasphemer, 
and on that great sinner Mary Magdalene. 


t Cljnrrlj Spires* 

EEING, in a certain town, the church spires 
mounting almost to the clouds. Gotthold began 
to wonder that our forefathers had expended 
so much industry and wealth upon an ob- 
ject which seems to minister to nothing but 
superfluous pomp and outward show. After some re- 
flection, however, he remarked, that their intentions 
were no doubt good, and their object praiseworthy. 
Does not such a tall and stately spire seem like a giant 
figure pointing upwards ! There can be no doubt, our 
worthy ancestors meant that every church should di- 
rect our eyes to heaven, and thereby admonish us that 
the doctrine preached in the sanctuary below, is the 
only way to the mansions above. As often, then, as we 
see such a spire, let us recollect that here we have no 
continuing city^ hut must seek one to come} 

1 Hebrews xiii. 14. 




W-aU in tijt %t. 

HILE at play, a child happening to get a 
mote into his eye, kept rubbing and wiping 
it for a while, but with no other effect than 
to increase the pain and inflammation. At 
last he ran and complained to his father, 
who put a small pearl into it, and bade him close 
and roll it about several times, whereupon the pearl 
dropped out with the mote adhering to it. This sug- 
gested to Gotthold the following thoughts : The eye 
is the light of the body. It sees all things presented 
to it, but not itself. It is, however, as the present 
instance shows, an extremely sensitive organ, and can- 
not endure even a mote, but weeps and aches until 
it is relieved. It thus affords us a true emblem of 
conscience, which, although itself little noticed, per- 
ceives, apprehends, and, so to speak, keeps a record 
of all things. In one respect, indeed, conscience is 
superior to the eye ; for while the latter sees only by 
day, the former sees also by night, and takes minute 
cognizance of the works of darkness. Now, true it is 
that many, especially when blinded by the delusions 
of self-love and carnal security, look upon sin as only 
a mote. But ah! with what bitter pain and anguish 

the mote, which seems so small, can wring the con* 




science ! How it aches and weeps ! And, in such a 
case, God of mercy, there is no help but with Thee. 
The Gospel of Jesus is the pearl of great price. ^ 
Dropped by Thy hand into the wounded and troubled 
heart, it takes sin and all its anguish away, so that 
we find rest to our souls, and learn to serve Thee with 
alacrity and delight. 

Help me, my God ! to walk at all times cautiously 
and circumspectly, and guard me by Thy grace from 
ever wounding my conscience. 



LOCK was shown to Gotthold, constructed of 
rings, which were severally inscribed with cer- 
tain letters, and could be turned round until 
the letters represented the name Jesus. It 
was only when the rings were disposed in this 
manner that the lock could be opened. The invention 
pleased him beyond measure, and he exclaimed : Oh 
that I could put such a lock as this upon my heart! 
Our hearts are already locked, no doubt, but generally 

1 Matt. xiii. 46. 



with a lock of quite another kind. Many need only 
to hear the words, Gain^ Honor ^ Pleasure^ Riches^ Re- 
venge., and their heart opens in a moment, whereas, to 
the Saviour and to His holy name, it continues shut. 

Lord Jesus, engrave Thou Thy name with Thine 
own finger upon my heart, that it may remain closed 
to worldly joy and worldly pleasure, self-interest, fading 
honor, and low revenge, and open only to Thee ! 

' -ooJOioo — 


OTT HOLD proceeded: Among the furniture 
of the tabernacle, under the Old Testament, 
not the least conspicuous article was the 
golden candlestick, with seven branches and 
lamps that always burned. By the Divine 
command, however, this candlestick was neither cast 
nor soldered together, but made of beaten work from a 
talent of gold.^ In this way the Lord intended to sig- 
nify that no one can shine on earth with the light of 
sound doctrine and a holy life, or in heaven with eter- 
nal glory, who has not been subjected to His hammer, 

1 Exodus XXV. 31. 



and beaten and wrought conformably to His mind. The 
only misfortune is, that we do not comprehend His 
method of working. Thy will, God, is to make of 
us vessels unto honor, sanctified and meet for Thy use, 
and prepared unto every good work} We, however, 
would rather continue good for nothing, than subject 
our sinful flesh to pain. But, my Father, heed not 
our folly. The hammers Thou usest are the devil, 
the world, and all sorts of adversity. Beat well, that 
both here in time, and hereafter in eternity, I may be a 
vessel unto honor, and fit for Thy use. 

o-0>ö<00 — 



SILVER cup, gilded and tastefully embossed, 
was standing upon a table, and suggested to 
Gotthold the following thoughts : The sole dif- 
ference between this and any other piece of 
silver is, that it has been more highly wrought, 
and beaten with the hammer. In no other way could 
it have been formed into the costly and beautiful vessel 
which we here see. Why then should we think it so 

1 2 Timothy ii. 21. 



strange and unaccountable when God, in His unerring 
wisdom, applies to us, in good earnest, the hammer of 
the Cross ? Do not we deal as we please with the inan- 
imate creatures, moulding them into any shape which 
strikes our fancy ? And ought we, then, to take offence, 
and complain of Him, when He makes the Cross His 
hammer, and beats us into conformity to His will ? Is 
our right over the creatures better than His over us ? 
And would any good thing come out of us were our 
gracious Father to let us alone ? 



EECOLLECT, said Gotthold, a pleasant story, 
told by a pious minister, about a monk of former 
days. He resolved to leave his monastery, on 
the ground that he there too frequently met with 
causes of provocation, and was betrayed into 
anger and other sins. Accordingly he retired into 
the desert, in the hope that solitude would enable 
him to serve God with an easier mind. One day, 
however, his pitcher happened to be upset, and, when 
lifted up, fell a second time, which kindled his anger 


to such a pitch, that lie dashed it to the ground, and 
broke it into a tliousand pieces. He soon, however, 
came to himself, and said : I now see that I cannot 
be at peace, even in solitude, and that the fault hes 
not in others, but in myself. He then returned to 
the monastery, and, after many strenuous efforts, suc- 
ceeded in subduing his passions, not by flight, but by 
mortification and self-denial. 

»0^00 ► 


N E day a person who, by the calamities of war, 
sickness, and other affliction, had been reduced 
from a state of affluence to penury, came to 
Gotthold in great distress. He complained that 
he had just met one of his former acquaintan- 
ces, who was even not distantly related to him, but that 
he had not condescended to bow, far less to speak to 
him, and had turned his eyes away, and passed him as 
if he had been a stranger. 0, Sir, he exclaimed, with 
a sigh. How it pained me ! I felt as if a dagger had 
pierced my heart ! Gotthold replied : Don't think it 
strange at all. It is the way of the world to look high, 
and to pass unnoticed that which is humble and lowly. 



I know, however, of One who, though he dwelleth on 
high, humbleth Himself to behold the things that are 
in heaven and in the earth ,^ and of whom the royal 
prophet testifies : Thou hast known my soul in adver- 
sity.^ Oh yes, though we have lost our rich attire, and 
come to him in rags ; though our forms be wasted be- 
cause of grief, and waxed old ; ^ though sickness and 
sorrow hath consumed our beauty like a moth ; ^ though 
blushes, and tears, and dust overspread our faces,^He 
still recognizes, and is not ashamed to own us. Com- 
fort yourself with this ; for what harm will it do you at 
last, though men disown, if God the Lord has not for 
gotten you ? 


N a writing-school. Gotthold observed a boy eye- 
ing attentively the line placed before him as a 
copy, and laboring by his penmanship to emu 
late its correctness and beauty. Mark, said 
^ he to the by-standers, how all perfection is 
the offspring of imperfection, and how, by frequent 

1 Psalm cxiii. 5, 6. 

2 Tsalm xxxi. 7. 

3 Psalm vi. 7, Luth. ver. 

4 Psalm xxxix. 11. 

5 Psalm Ixix. 7. 



mistakes, we learn to do well. It is not required of 
this boy that his writing should equal that of the line. 
He satisfies his master by the pains he takes, and which 
are a ground of hope that he will progressively improve, 
till at last he learns to write with rapidity and elegance. 
We also have a pattern to copy. It has been left us by 
the Lord Jesus, ^ and is His most perfect and holy life. 
And think not that He exacts from us more than the 
teacher does from the pupil. No, indeed ; if He find 
us careful in studying His example, and diligent in our 
endeavors to imitate it. He exercises forbearance to- 
wards our faults, and strengthens us by His grace and 
Spirit daily, to amend. In the school of Christ they are 
the best scholars who continue learning to the last ; I 
mean they who sedulously keep their Master's example 
in view, and are always striding to grow more and more 
like it, but yet are never satisfied with themselves, or 
with the progress which they make. We must, there- 
fore, endeavor to avoid two faults, which are negligence 
and discouragement. The one becomes eventually the 
parent of indolence and security ; the other of despon- 
dency and grief. Heaven is open, not merely to the 
perfect and strong, but likewise to the feeble and err- 
ing, if they will only with penitence and humility con- 
fess their faults, and seek in the grace of Christ the 
supply for all their wants. 

my God ! despise not my inability. Remember 1 

1 1 Peter ii. 21. 



am hut a learner, and he satisfied with my poor 'perform- 
ances. My good intentions often miscarry. But ought 
I on that account to desist ? God forbid ! So long as 
I live, I will always begin afresh, and in heaven, at Thy 
good time, will lay my master-piece at thy feet. 


C^E are told, said Gotthold, of one of the 
fathers of the desert, that seeing a female 
of loose morals arrayed in rich apparel, he 
was moved to tears, and lamented that he 
had never taken half so much pains to adorn 
his soul with faith and godliness, as she to please the 
world. And I, too, my God, could almost weep to 
think that I have been far less diligent to conform my 
walk and ways to Thy precepts and will, than these 
dancers are to make tlieir feet keep time to the music. 
How infatuated are men ! Mere vanities appear to us 
worth the greatest pains. But seldom and only with 
reluctance do we reflect upon eternity. Away with 
folly ! I have so much to do, to mend my heart and pre- 
pare for death, that I have no time to think of daneiny. 




NGAGED ill conversation with a friend, who 
had remarked that he was often at a loss to 
discover any traces of the Divine government 
^ and providence in the affairs of the world, 
Gotthold said to him, Come, let us go to a 
watchmaker's. See, he has been making a valuable 
watch of a number of wheels, springs, pins, etc., ex- 
actly measured, jointed, and fitted to each other. 
There lie the parts, all different in shape, size, and 
construction, and all having a certain order and place 
to which they belong. Do you think that you could 
put them together, and arrange them into one ? I 
very much doubt your ability. Make the attempt ; 
expend upon it as much time and trouble as you 
please, the only result will be to convince you of the 
impossibility of constructing a whole from parts so 
dissimilar. Call an artist, however, to the task, and 
you will soon see Vv^hat skill can do. It is the same 
here. God has ordered all things in measure, and 
number, and weight. He has adapted cause to cause, 
allotted to all His creatures their definite action, and 
finally, appended the weight of His omnipotence and 



wisdom to the whole fabric. Keep this iii view when 
you wish to know what hour has struck. 

My God! I thank Thee that Thy watchful eye is 
over all things, and that Thou governest them with 
mercy and wisdom. I thank Thee that the world 
goes not as man wills, but as Thou the Lord wilt. 
In whom can I trust better than in Thee ? How 
strangely soever, then, the world's affairs may some- 
times seem to proceed, I will be dumb, and not open 
my mouth, because Thou doest it. 



YOUNG- girl was one day censured by her 
"^(\y mother for some fault, upon which she deeply 
^ ^ blushed, burst into tears, and retired into a cor- 
ner. Gotthold was present, and observed to 
the mother : How beautiful your reproof has 
made your daughter ! That crimson hue, and those 
silvery tears, become her better than any ornament of 
gold and pearls. These may be hung on the neck of a 
wanton, but those are never seen disconnected with 
moral purity. A full-blown rose, besprinkled with the 



purest dew, is not so beautiful as this child blushing 
beneath her parent's displeasure, and shedding tears of 
sorrow for her fault. A blush is the sign which nature 
hangs out to show where chastity and honor dwell. 



ONTINÜING his remarks. Gotthold said: 
How faithful to each other the parts of the 
body are ! Let any offensive and shameful ob- 
ject be presented to the countenance, and the 
heart instantly sympathizes with it, and de- 
spatches a gush of blood to serve as a veil and to screen 
it from disgrace. On the contrary, let the heart receive 
a shock from violent anger, or sudden fright, and in- 
stantly the blood forsakes the countenance, and rushes 
to the help of the suffering member ; the consequence 
of which is that we grow pale. Christians ought to act 
in the same manner, seeing that we are members one 
of another. In every case where the means are in our 
power, and conscience permits, we should endeavor to 
screen our neighbor's shame, take his affliction to heart, 
and hasten in emergencies to his aid. From the fact 



that this is so little done, it may be inferred that good 
Christians are few in number. Of that few, grant, 
my Father, that I may be one ! 


wT)HILE walking with a friend. Gotthold met 
a young man, dressed in the extreme of fash- 
ion, and could not help looking back at him, 
and exclaiming, with a sigh: righteous 
God ! what will be the issue of this rage for 
novelties and vain show ? How happens it that the 
world more and more seeks her honor in disgrace, and 
her wisdom in folly ? I often think of what the Holy 
Spirit says^ of Queen Bernice, viz., that she came "with 
great pomp" (orig, phantasy). The reigning fashion 
seems to me to be of the same phantastic character. 
There is hardly any one who now considers it a sin 
to wear a mask, and conform to the world. But, in- 
quired his companion, can there really be so much 
sinfulness in the changes which dress undergoes ? In 
itself, replied Gotthold, dress belongs to the class of 

1 Acts XXV. 23. 



tilings neutral. It makes a man neither better nor 
worse in the sight of God, it draws npon him neither 
the Almighty's favor nor frown ; still the coat shows 
what the man and what his heart is. Can you doubt 
that many a one, in his gay attire, cut according to 
the newest style, is an idol to himself? With what 
pomp and pride he struts along, and fancies that none 
makes so fine a figure. Though one bow ever so soon 
or so humbly to him, yet he, on the contrary, scarcely 
deigns to return the salutation. In this way, the old 
man, whom we are bound to crucify with his afiections 
and lusts, ^ is warmly clothed, expensively ornamented, 
and idolatrously reverenced. The money given to sup- 
ply the wants of a needy brother, is wastefuUy squan- 
dered, and the word of God in the heart choked among 
thorns. He whose frame of mind is such that he is 
always lying abased at the feet of the Omnipotent, — 
he who does not despise a Christian neighbor, though 
in poverty and rags, — he who is ready at any hour, in 
obedience to the will of God, to exchange the finest 
suit for the beggar's cloak or the death-bed shroud, 
may, perhaps, without sin, wear costly raiment. But 
how the children of the world, with their swelling 
pomp, shall contrive to enter in at the strait gate 
which leadeth unto life, must be left for them to try, 
if they will have it so. 

1 Galatians v. 24. 



My God ! naked came I into this world, and naked 
must I again depart out of it. While my life lasts, 
give me food and raiment convenient for me. If my 
rank or office require a better dress, disengage, at least, 
my heart from it, and make me unconscious of what I 
wear. My soul desires ornaments of a different kind. 
Let the blood and righteousness of Christ be my badge 
and robe of honor. 



Itilkg Wag. 

/JT^NE starry night, as he stood gazing at what is 
1 called the milky way. Gotthold thought with 
(VTi>^y--N himself : This white belt in the heavens, as 
^^^^ one of the ancients has said, and as has now 
^ been demonstrated, is formed by the shining 
of innumerable stars, too distant from us to be per- 
ceptible, except through the medium of the telescope. 
To me it presents, first of all, an emblem of holy Scrip- 
ture, which, to him who views it superficially, appears 
obscure and dim ; whereas he who contemplates it in 
spirit, and through the perspective of faith, discovers 
a thousand sparkling stars of doctrine and consolation. 
Again, the milky way also reminds me of the glorious 



assembly of the saints in the life eternal. Of this, in 
our natural condition, we know nothing. But if we 
take the glass of faith and Divine contemplation, we 
then discover that verily the spirits of the blessed 
shine as the brightness of the firmament, and as the 
stars for ever and ever.^ And yet all about the heav- 
enly world appears small and scarcely perceptible, be- 
cause we are still at so great a distance from it. If, 
however, by the will of God, we one day reach that 
blessed place, then shall we fully know what it is, and 
be forever satisfied. 


)0U may shake or push the magnetic needle 
from its position, continued Gotthold, but it 
returns to it the moment you leave it to itself. 
In like manner, believers may fall into sin, 
and deviate from the line of duty; but no 
sooner have they leisure for reflection, than they en- 
deavor to amend, and resume a life of godliness. On 
the contrary, the wicked watch for opportunities to do 
evil, and yield to all the temptations of the devil and 
the world. 

1 Daniel xii. 3. 




Ü R worthy forefathers, said Gotthold, have left 
fX^\ us a tale in verse, of which the purpose is to 
show how difficult, and yet how necessary it 

^^^^Y is sometimes to keep silence. The substance 
^ of the story is as follows : 

Hans Priem was admitted into paradise on the ex- 
press condition that he was not to indulge a habit he 
had acquired of censuring and criticising whatever 
came under his notice. Accordingly, he saw two an- 
gels carrying a beam crossways, and knocking it against 
every object they met, but said nothing. He next saw 
two other angels drawing water from a fountain, and 
pouring it into a cask which had holes in the bottom, 
and was much surprised, but still held his peace. At 
many other things of the same kind he also suppressed 
his laughter and remarks, apprehending that he might 
otherwise be expelled, the place. At last, however, he 
saw a cart stuck fast in the mire, with one pair of 
horses yoked into it before, and another pair behind, 
and the carter urging both simultaneously forward. 
This being a matter which belonged to his own profes- 
sion, it was more than Hans could do to refrain from 
criticising it, and the consequence was, that he was 

seized by two angels, and turned to the door. Before 




it closed behind him, however, he looked back, and per- 
ceived that the horses were winged, and had succeeded 
in drawing the cart out of the mud into the air ; nor 
can there be any doubt that in the other cases of the 
beam and the cask, there were equally good reasons for 
what was done. 

Wherefore, let us learn to hold our peace, and refrain 
from censuring the ways of God. But where am I run- 
ning ? In praising silence, I have become loquacious ! 
My God ! do Thou Thyself instruct me when to speak 
and when to hold my tongue. 



CIj^ ixnxi ^xttn. 

N a company of friends, assembled in an orchard, 
the question arose, whether it was better to prune 
. the under branches of the young trees, and so 
rear them straight and tall, or suffer them to ex- 
tend in breadth ? The majority were of opinion 

tliat the former was the preferable method, because the 
tall and straight tree occupies less space in the garden, 
and yet bears finer and more highly flavored fruit. On 
the other hand, it was remarked, that such a tree, with 



the crop it bears, is at the mercy of the wind, which 
often prematurely shakes it, and scatters the fruit, long 
ere it is ripe, upon the ground. G-otthold heard the 
conversation, and said : Tlie way to settle this dispute 
is to leave every one to do in the matter as he thinks 
best, and as is best adapted to the extent of his ground. 
Let me, however, embrace the opportunity of directing 
your minds to the question. Whether, for the godly and 
virtuous man, it be more desirable to live in a humble 
rank, or to aspire after a higher position ? It is true 
that he who is exalted above others by a post of honor, 
and who yet adorns his lofty boughs with fruits of god- 
liness and virtue, while he also bends them with humil- 
ity to the ground, is a tree in which both God and man 
delight, and whose fruit has the richer flavor the higher 
it grows. At the same time, it is a fact to be deplored, 
that a faint wind often agitates the lofty tree, by which 
I mean that the man of rank is exposed to many in- 
ducements to shake off the fruits of godliness, and is 
too often found a barren stock. On the other hand, 
serious defects are also prevalent among persons of a 
humble station, as, for example, that they stretch the 
arms of greed and selfishness around them further than 
they ought, or in other ways deport themselves in an 
unseemly manner, and thereby bring condemnation on 
their fruit. St. Paul tells us this when he says : As the 
Lord hath called every one, so let him walk.^ It is 

1 1 Corinthians vii. 17. 



right that he whom God hath highly exalted should 
aspire after high things, and none are higher than 
those which are heavenly and divine. But let him 
whom the Most High has placed in a low estate com- 
fort himself with the thought, that godly humility is 
the shortest way to true greatness. All who are filled 
with the fruits of righteousness unto His glory ^ are 
dear to God, whether they be high or low. 

My God ! make me, though a lowly, yet a fruitful 
tree. In this world I cannot reach my proper height ; 
but when transplanted by Thee into Thy celestial gar- 
den, I shall flourish and grow forever. 


EE, said Gottliold to his family, as they were 
setting out for church, that none of you forget 
himself, and leave the true church at home. 
The true church is a devout heart, anxious both 
to learn and to do the will of God, and unless 
you take it along with you, you may as well stay at 
home. The pictures, pillars, seats, and benches, have 

1 Philippians i. 11. 



been in the church for many a year, yet still continue 
lifeless things. You, however, are rational men, nay, 
more, baptized Christians ; you have ears to hear, and 
a heart to understand God's Word, and unless you use 
your ears and hearts, going to church will do you no 
good. Nay, on the great day of judgment, there will 
be many for whom it would have been better never to 
have had the opportunity of entering a church door, 
than to have frequently gone to it, but just as often 
returned from it without fruit or improvement. On 
that day, it will be more tolerable for those who did 
not know the Word of God, than for those who pos- 
sessed it abundantly, and heard it often, but did not 
act according to it. Must the fig-tree which, in its nat- 
ural state, bore no fruit, be hewn down ? Then, surely, 
much more that which, after all the pains of the hus- 
bandman, remains unprofitable still. ^ After they had set 
out, Gottliold sighed, and said : Oh I Lord Jesus, beloved 
Saviour, there are many churches upon the earth, but 
few hearts that are churches to Thee. Here, however, is 
my heart ; here the hearts of all my family ; take, and 
occupy them ; sanctify them by Thy Spirit ; sprinkle 
them with Thy righteousness ; drive from them Satan and 
all wickedness ; fill them with Thy grace ; protect them 
by Thy power ; refresh them with Thy consolations ; up- 
hold them unto salvation by Thy strength, and so make 
them, both in time and eternity. Thy sanctuary and 

1 Luke xiii. 7—9. 




AYING one day purchased a few note-books, 
Gotthold took occasion to say to a friend who 
was with him : This reminds me of the words 
of a great and enlightened statesman, who, 
being asked by a young gentleman what trea- 
tise on the art of government he could recommend as 
the best, replied : A book of white paper. Take such 
a book, journey with it through the world, carefully 
attend to every matter, whether political or not, which 
appears to you remarkable, note it for the information 
of yourself and others, and in this way you will make 
an excellent work, from which you may learn much. 
The sagacious man, it appears, preferred experience 
and observation to all other books. And why should 
not I entertain the same opinion on spiritual matters ? 
I do believe, that were a person, from Iiis earliest in- 
fancy, to note and register all the Divine blessings, and 
all the miracles of goodness and severity which, in the 
course of his life, he observed and experienced, he 
would compose an excellent and most useful book. 
Nothing could be more edifying than to be reminded, 
by its perusal, how wonderfully, and yet how graciously 
we had boen led, and how effectually comforted by 



God, and how various the ways, and abundant the 
measures, in which His fatherly love, truth, long-suf- 
fering, care, and goodness, had been manifested towards 
us ! For my own part, were I circumstantially to re- 
cord all the mercy which He has made to pass before 
me, the narrative would fill many volumes. 

Well then, my God, I have learned from experience 
that my God Thou truly art. So numerous are the 
proofs I have had of Thy fatherly care and faithfulness, 
that were I to fail in reliance upon Thee, it would be 
the height of injustice. 


T T H L D happening to receive a letter 
brought by the post in a very few days from a 
somewhat distant place, a person who was pres- 
ent observed : How useful an institution the 
post is, by which we are enabled in so short a 
time to hear from, and hold intercourse with, our dis- 
tant friends. Gotthold replied : It is a just remark. 
The posts are now everywhere well-appointed, and there 
are few places not provided with them. But what edi- 


fying thoughts are they fitted to suggest ? There can 
be little doubt that covetousness and curiosity are the 
two steeds by which most of the mails are drawn. Of 
that, however, I shall say no more. Let us rather re- 
flect on something which the world in general forgets, 
viz., that we may, if we please, have a mail to heaven, 
conveying in a moment intelligence of our condition 
and concerns, our wants and desires to our God and 
Father, and bringing back to us a gracious answer, with 
advice and comfort, protection and help. Blessed be 
the Father of Mercy, and the God of all consolation, 
who has not left us destitute of such a means of com- 
munication with Himself! Prayer is the swift courier, 
and sighs the winged messengers. Doves have been 
trained to fly from place to place, carrying letters in a 
little casket, fastened to their neck or foot. They are 
swift of flight, but oiu' prayers and sighs are swifter, 
for they take but a moment to pass from earth to 
heaven, and bear the troubles of our heart to the heart 
of God. These messengers no hostile force can detain ; 
they penetrate the clouds, never linger on the way, and 
never desist until the Most High attends. A tyrant 
may shut up a godly man in the deepest dungeon, im- 
mure him between massive walls, and forbid him all 
intercourse with his fellow-men, but these messengers 
he cannot restrain ; in defiance of all obstacles, they 
report to the Omniscient the affliction of the victim, 
and bring back to him the Divine consolation. 



my Father ! I thank Thee for having, despite the 
devil and the world, vouchsafed to us a channel of 
communication, and boldness to converse with Thyself. 
Grant unto me that I may at all times use my privilege 
with filial reverence and confidence : And by such a 
post as this, viz., my last sigh, breathed by the strength 
of Thy Spirit in the name of Jesus, may my soul at 
length perform its journey from earth to heaven ! 


(^^\) E I N G one day upon the banks of a river, Gott- 
hold beheld a party of sailors impelling their 

vessel against the stream. Sometimes fasten- 
ing their ropes to a tree or post, they towed it 
forward ; at other times, going ashore and har- 

nessing themselves to the ropes, they dragged it after 
them. Here, said he, I have an emblem of my own 
voyage to heaven. The world is the mighty stream 
which sweeps multitudes away into the gulf of perdi- 
tion. I must stem the torrent with my little bark, 
being commanded not to be conformed to the world, 
nor to love either it or its lusts. ^ For this purpose, 

1 Romans xii. 2 ; 1 John ii. 15. 



labor is indispensable. My sighs and yearnings are the 
ropes, my resolution the post, and my strength is in 
God and his Spirit. Here I strain every nerve, reach- 
ing forth unto those things which are before.^ Here* 
there must be no pause or relaxation. Were these sail- 
ors to intermit their exertions, the stream would soon 
bear down their vessel to its starting-place. The same 
thing happens in our Christian experience. If we 
cease to fight with ourselves and the world, or relax 
our diligence in prayer, and other holy exercises, we 
soon become sensible of the backsliding and decline of 
our inner man. 

My God, help me always resolutely to strive, and 
through life and death, to force my way unto Thee. 

-ooj^e^oo — 


OTTHOLD ordered a parterre in his garden 
to be dressed afresh, and planted with all va- 
rieties of bulbs. The work,.when finished, sug- 
gested to him the following reflections: Al- 
though the gardener has exercised his skill 
upon this plot of ground, and given it a form, which 

1 Philippians iii. 13. 



adds greatly to its beauty, nevertheless, like other earth, 
it still retains the wildness of its nature, and unless 
carefully kept, would, ere long, be overgrown with 
weeds. It is the same with the heart of God's chil- 
dren. No doubt they have experienced a blessed re- 
generation, have become other men, and by the grace, 
word, and spirit of their heavenly Father, been trans- 
formed and renewed in heart. Still the innate sinful- 
ness continues lurking within them, and must daily be 
kept under, by repentance and. prayer, struggles and 
holy resolutions. They who are sincerely pious, do in- 
deed forsake sin, but sin does not forsake them. 

My God, I acknowledge all the grace, and pains, and 
labor which Thou hast expended on the cultivation of 
my poor and desert heart. I thank Thee for having 
traced upon it an outline of genuine godliness, and 
planted it with holy aspirations and desires, which are 
the roots of all the virtues. But, my Father, Thou 
knowest the nature of the soil. Sins still harbor in my 
bosom ; and though, as Thou also knowest, I take pains 
to extirpate and subdue them, the corrupt principle 
remains concealed in my flesh, is ever active, and 
breaks forth where it can. My God, my own care and 
pains are too slender and weak. Do Thou, therefore, 
take me and take my poor heart under Thy charge. 
Extirpate, subdue, restrain sin, and cause the flowers 
of faith and charity to grow, and increase within me, 
that my soul may become a garden of delight to Thee. 




AYING been presented with a bunch of blue 
violets, Gotthold regaled himself with their de- 
lightful fragrance, and thanked God for the 
manifold kinds of refreshment which He pro- 
vides for man. He also took occasion to express 
the following thoughts : This beautiful and odoriferous 
little flower may furnish me with a pleasing image of 
a humble and godly heart. It is a lowly plant, and 
creeps upon the ground ; but, nevertheless, it charms 
the eye with its celestial blue, and, by its noble per- 
fume, far excels many of its more stately and pom- 
pous mates of the garden, such as the tulip and im- 
perial crown. In the same way, there are persons 
who, to themselves and others, appear base and hum- 
ble, but who resemble the Lord Jesus in meekness and 
lowliness of heart. They thus bear the genuine hue 
of heaven, and are preferred by God to others who 
parade their spiritual or bodily gifts. The apothecary, 
too, extracts the juice of this little flower, and, mixing 
it with melted sugar, produces a cooling and invigor- 
ating cordial ; and even so the Most High infuses the 
syrup of His grace into tlic humble heart, and so makes 
it the means of comfort and edification to others. 



My God! my glory shall be not to seek my own 
glory, but Thine. I have no wish to be a gaudy 
flower, if I can only please Thee, and profit my neigh- 
bor. Greatness does not consist in the mere possession 
of lofty gifts, but in using lofty gifts with a humble 
mind to the praise of the Most High. 


^l^t Cabinet 0f Curiosities. 

N a company of persons of rank, the conversation - 
happening to turn upon the museum of a prince, 
several who had seen it mentioned various ob- 
jects, which, partly for the labor expended upon 
them, partly for their rarity, and partly, likewise, 
for their great intrinsic value, were held in high esti- 
mation. Gotthold remarked as follows: An eminent 
and pious clergyman, having once inspected a similar 
cabinet, interrogated his companions, on their way out, 
which of all the costly objects it contained seemed to 
them the most excellent and precious. With one ac- 
cord, and consonant to the opinion of the keeper, who 
had shown them the cabinet, they fixed upon a piece 
of jewelry, in which were set many large Oriental dia- 
monds. Whereupon, the clergyman observed: I per- 



ceive that you have yet to learn to put a just value on 
yourselves. Your Saviour places the human soul in 
the balance with the world, and, after weighing them, 
pronounces the soul to be the most valuable of the 
two, saying, What is a man profited, if he shall gain 
the whole world, and lose his own soul?^ There is 
not one object to be seen in this treasury which was 
not purchased with gold or silver. The soul, however, 
is far too valuable to be bought at any such price, and, 
therefore, the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb 
without spot and blemish, required to be paid for it.^ 
Besides, every object here is of a transitory nature, 
and subject to vanity. The soul, hoAvever, is immor- 
tal, and for that reason ought to be justly prized, as 
the most precious of jewels. 


)HEREFORE, proceeded Gotthold, whatever 
else you may do, I beseech you see that you 
keep with care the precious jewel of your 
immortal soul. In these days of ours, means 
have been devised for searching and recover- 
ing lost things out of navigable rivers, and even the 

1 Matt. xvi. 26. 2 l Peter i. 18. 



tempestuous sea ; but who knows how to rescue a lost 
soul from the al^yss of hell ? Alas ! exclaimed one of 
the company, this jewel is far from safe, when entrusted 
to such care as ours ; and He who is the keeper of 
Israel, and neither slumbers nor sleeps,^ must under- 
take the larger share of the task. To which Gotthold 
replied : How true that is ! 

Lord J esus. Shepherd and Bishop of my soul ! Thou 
knowest best of any how much a soul is worth. What- 
ever it may be to a man, a precious jewel it is to Thee, 
bought at an untold price. And that which is Thine 
own, Thou wilt know how to keep, that the devil may 
never steal it away. 


NE evening one of a company of friends de- 
spatched a servant to his house for his lute, and 
found that, when brought into the apartment, it 
had lost tune, as usually happens to these instru- 
ments when exposed to changes of weather or 
atmosphere. While the owner was tightening tlie 
strings. Gotthold, who was present, thought with him- 

1 Psalm cxxi. 4. 



self: What is sweeter than a well-tuned lute, and what 
more delightful than a faithful friend — one who can 
cheer us in sorrow with wise and affectionate dis- 
course ! Nothing, however, is sooner untuned than a 
lute ; and nothing is more fickle than human friend- 
ship. The tone of the one changes with the weather, 
that of the other with fortune. With a clear sky, a 
bright sun, and a gentle breeze, you will have friends 
in plenty ; but let fortune frown, and the firmament be 
overcast, and then your friends will prove like the 
strings of this lute, of which you will tighten ten before 
you find one that will bear the tension and keep the 



(^^Y)UT, proceeded Gotthold, after a pause, why com- 
ImM? P^^iii of others, when I find a match for the 
^5^5^ lute within myself? What is my mind, if not 
an instrument easily put out of tune ? In fair 
^ weather it rings loud and clear ; I mean that 
when caressed by fortune, it is haughty and insolent, 
enamored of self, and prone to fancy that all it thinks 



and contrives is good and pleasing both to God and 
man. Only, however, let the weather change, and the 
sun of prosperity dim its beams, and hide behind dark 
clouds of trouble, and then our courage vanishes ; we 
give ourselves up to despondency, and anxious thoughts 
make a strange medley within us. 

Yes, my God, my mind is indeed variable as a lute, 
and good for nothing, unless from hour to hour Thou 
tunest it afresh. Enable me in all weathers decreed 
for me by Thy providence, to keep the pitch, and may 
that ever be, Thy will be done. 



;e Wxtiuxt. 

,N opulent man had taken down several fine 
paintings which adorned the walls of his house, 
cleaned off the dust with a Avhisk of feathers 
and a moist cloth, and then exposed them to 
the sun, knowing that this is the way to 
brighten paintings in oil, and renew their original 
beauty and freshness ; w^hereas water-color rubs off 
with the impurities. Gotthold, on being told the mat- 
ter, observed : Like pictures in water-colors are false 
Christians, who possess the form of godliness, but deny 


the power,^ and may for a time deceive men, because 
men can see no further than the outward appearance. 
They are known, however, to God, who tries tiie heart 
and the reins, and will be cast by Him into everlasting 
fire, as unworthy to enter heaven. As for true Chris- 
tians, whose hearts have been thoroughly penetrated by 
the oil of the Gospel, and have taken their hue from 
the blood of Christ, they stand the proof, endure trial, 
and come more beautiful out of every temptation. 

Grant, Lord Jesus, that my Christianity may be well 
founded and geniiine, and that no accident may have 
power to blot Thine image from my heart ! 


HILE Gotthold was one day walking in a 
wood with a friend, the latter spoke to him, 
with sorrow, of his son, who, he said, was a 
simple lad, could not be taught manners, un- 
derstood little of his tasks, and was too shy 
to speak to a stranger; but yet, in other respects, was' 
of a pious disposition, feared God, took pleasure in 

1 2 Timothy iii. 5. 


prayer, and was obedient to the slightest hint of his 
parents. Gottliold thereupon directed his attention to 
two trees, — the one beautiful and straiglit, and without 
a branch from the root to the top, which it had pushed 
high into the air, and spread out in a graceful circle ; 
the other, with plenty of branches, gnarled and crooked, 
— and then inquired : If you had the choice of these 
two trees, which of them would you prefer ? Without 
much reflection, his friend pointed to the straight one, 
and said : This would be useful for building, and va- 
rious purposes, whereas the other is so crooked, warped, 
and knotty, that it is good for nothing. Attempting to 
manufacture anything out of it would bo only wasting 
tools, and even to split or hew it into fuel for the fire, 
would be a difficult task. Well, said Gotthold, this 
straight tree is the emblem of a simple-minded, plain, 
and honest man, who grows up in unfeigned godliness, 
feeds his mind with heavenly thoughts, seeks those 
things that are above, and stretches forth his hands and 
heart towards God and heaven. Such persons are often 
chosen by the Most High to be pillars in his temple.^ 
That other, however, is the proper image of a subtle, 
crafty, and intriguing person, who is full of tricks and 
cunning, knots and branches. Of what use is such a 
character, unless to trouble himself and others ? If he 
who has little wit needs a master to inform his stupid- 
ity, he who has much frequently needs ten to keep in 

1 Rev. iii. 12. 



check his worldly wisdom, which might otherwise, like 
a high-mettled charger, toss him to the ground. It is 
better to have a son who is simple, good, and pious, than 
one self-willed, reckless, and sharp at all kinds of vil- 


m;uX A MINING the sun-dial, to ascertain if the 
irSp clocks were right, Gottliold said to himself: 
Dials are no doubt most ingenious contri- 
vances ; but, however ingenious, they are of 
no use when the sun does not shine. It is 
the same with us. Destitute of the grace of God, 
and of the quickening and enlightening influence of 
the Holy Spirit, we too, whatever be our natural gifts 
and talents, are good for nothing. The wise are not 
wise, and the most prudent counsellors go farthest 
wrong, when their understanding and judgment are 
not irradiated by the beams of grace from heaven. 
The acutest intellects fall into the most fatal errors, 
unless they humbly acknowledge their inability, and 
turn to the Sun of Righteousness, and seek to catch 
its rays. Nay, the most ingenious heads are like the 
finest watches, which, without constant inspection, are 


often the first to stop. What, then, must be the con- 
sequence of imagining that we know much, when all 
our knowledge, however great, is not only useless, but 
even hurtful, both to ourselves and others, unless we 
also humbly and devoutly imbibe the light of grace 
from heaven ! 

My God ! By Thy grace I am what I am. Let not 
Thy grace which has been given unto me, be given in 
vain. Cause the light of Thy countenance to shine 
upon me, that I may be able and willing to serve many. 


OTTHOLD one day saw a number of deer 
which a prince had ordered to be caught and 

enclosed in wooden cages, as a present, to be 
sent to a brother monarch across the seas. 
It seemed very remarkable that, however wild and 
shy these animals had formerly been, they now fear- 
lessly ate barley, hay, cabbage, and everything of a 
similar sort, from the hand. Gotthold observing this, 
said to himself : my God, how blessed is the yoke 
of the Cross, and how upeful in making us good and 



meek ! Wlien man is exempt from affliction, when he 
is enjoying pleasure, health, and friends, then he stalks 
through the world, like the wild stag through the for- 
est, feeling no want, and caring as little for Thee as 
the stag docs for me. The stag, when at large, flies 
from the sight of a human being, and will take noth- 
ing, be it ever so good and precious, from his hand. 
In the season of prosperity, we do the same ; when 
Thy voice calleth. Where art thou, my children ? we 
hide ourselves.^ When Thou wouldest entice us, we 
flee away. When Thou offerest Thy grace in the 
Word, we have no taste for it. Our soul loatheth 
Thy light bread, ^ and we avoid Thee as an enemy. 
But as the huntsman waylays the stag in its security, 
and prostrates it with an unsuspected bullet ; so never 
is our soul in greater danger than when we deem our- 
selves exposed to none. 

Thanks be to Thee my God, that we are not left 
exposed to peril like this. Thou lettest loose upon 
us the persecutor and the slanderer. Thou entanglest 
and takest us captive in the meshes of all sorts of 
trouble. Thou enclosest us within the bars of poverty, 
sickness, and affliction, both of mind and body. Then 
do we begin to think of Thee, become humble and 
devout, acknowledge Thee as our God and Father, 
and eagerly accept the consolations presented by Thy 
gracious hand. 

1 üen. iii. 9. 

2 Isumb. xxi. 5. 


fAST down with melancholy, a person com- j 
plahied to Gotthold that he was often betrayed \ 
s against his will into thinking of the decree I 
>^ of election, and that when he considered how ! 
great is the number of the reprobate, and how \ 
small that of the elect, he could not help doubting 
whether he belonged to that few, and had a right to = 
believe himself ordained to life eternal. Gotthold said 
to him in reply : It happens to you as to foolish chil- ; 
dren, who, from curiosity, or want of sense, frequently 
mount upon a ladder or stair, far higher than their 
heads can bear, and when they are up, know not how 
to descend again. I remember an instance of a child 
venturing out from a high window upon some boards, 
placed as a stand for flowers, and, in extreme danger, 
proceeding to his father's apartment, and looking in 
upon him at his studies. You are guilty of the same 
folly ; you venture into a dangerous place, climb too 
high, and wish to have a look into the council-chamber 
of the Most High. But, my friend, who bade you do 
this ? Eeckon it for certain that these thoughts are \ 
but phantoms conjured up by the devil, and intended 
to plunge you into misery, spiritual danger, and con- 
tinual despondency. What the Scripture says of the 

86 I 



election of grace, it says not for the purpose of troub- 
ling and terrifying poor souls assailed by temptation, 
burdened with a sense of sin, and anxious to be deliv- 
ered from it, but rather for the purpose of soothing 
their distress. The very reason why God's only Son 
came down to us here on earth was, to save us from 
the necessity of soaring on the wings of dangerous 
thought to heaven, in order to learn there how God is 
disposed towards us, and what he has decreed respect- 
ing our salvation. 



)RUE believers, said Gotthold, have seasons of 
unfruitfnlness, in which they bring forth no 
good works, or devout thoughts and aspira- 
tions. They are like the trees in winter, Avliich, 
although destitute of leaves, are not destitute 
of sap and life, and therefore, when spring returns, bud 
and blossom, and bear afresh. The ungodly, however, 
resemble withered trees, which at all seasons alike are 
without sap and life and fruit, and consequently are fit 
for nothing but the fire. 

THE 31 OLE. 



OTTHOLD one day looked on while a gardener 
watched a mole, caught it at its mischievous 
^^^^y^ work, threw it with his spade out of the 
earth, and made it pay with its life for the 
damage it had done. This creature's Avhole 
employment, thought he then with himself, is to plough 
up the well-dressed gardens and fields, gnaw and de- 
stroy the roots of plants, and by the many heaps it 
forms, to disfigure and injure the parterres and mead- 
ows ; all which it does for the sake of its food. Able to 
see and cater for itself in the dark, and eyen beneath 
the earth, it is blind when unexpectedly brought into 
the light. And so it is with the man of the world. He 
burrows and filches in secret ; seeks his own advan- 
tage at the expense of others, who wither and perish 
through his devices, and raises on every hand the mon- 
uments of his enmity and selfishness. Besides, wise 
and crafty though he be in temporal things, he knows 
absolutely nothing of those that are spiritual and di- 
vine. But death stands by, and only waits the nod of 
the Most High, to terminate, in a moment, his projects 
and intrigues, casts the miserable man out of earth, 
into earth ; I mean, from all his temporal possessions, 



into tlie grave. To that dark abode he shall carrj 
nothing away, nor shall his glory descend after him ; 
but having loved darkness rather than the light in this 
present life, he shall never see the light of the life to 

Thou faithful God, what would it profit me to live in 
this world, were I to shut my eyes to the light of 
heaven ! It were better to be a mole, and after death 
have neither good nor evil to expect, than an ungodly 
man appointed to the place "of everlasting darkness, 
where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. 



PERSON complained that, while he was con- 
versing confidentially with a friend, a third 
party, of whom they had no suspicion, had 
been lurking and listening in a corner, and by 
reporting the conversation, had created great 
dispeace. Gotthold remarked : Eaves-droppers and lis- 
teners, it is true, are dangerous characters, and the 
great mischief they do may be seen in the instance of 

1 risaliii xlix. 18, 19. 



Doeg, the blood-thirsty flatterer of King Saul/ whose 
treachery caused the death of fourscore and five priests, 
with their wives and children. But tell me how came 
you to be so imprudent in your talk. Do you not 
know that it would often be better to lose a pearl from 
a necklace than a word from the tongue ? So long as 
you keep an important word to yourself, it is your own. 
Utter it, and from that moment it belongs to all by 
whom it has been heard ; and you need not Avonder 
that they treat it as their property, adding to or taking 
from it, extending or extenuating it, according to their 
pleasure. The oidy way to prevent this is to be silent, 
and to keep in your words. 

One thing more. You say that you were conversing 
confidentially with a friend, and did not observe the 
listener. But remember the advice of the wise mon- 
arch : Curse not the king, no, not in thy thought ; and 
curse not (speak not evil of) the rich in thy bed-cham- 
ber, for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that 
which hath wings shall tell the matter.^ In future, 
therefore, be not so rash with thy mouth. Forget not 
that there is a listener always on the watch, who hears, 
sees, and knows all that we say, do, or think, whether 
in secret by ourselves, or confidentially with others. I 
speak of conscience, which never sleeps, and holds a 
divine commission to report upon our whole conduct. 
Tell me, would you freely and unreservedly utter all 

1 1 Samuel xxi. 7, xxii. 9. 2 Eccles. x. 20. 


that enters your mind, were you aware that one of the 
company was treasuring, and would afterwards commit 
it to writing? Scarcely. Why, then, are you not 
afraid of your conscience, which records everything 
you do, and will one day uphraid you with more, per- 
haps, than you will like to hear ? 

My God, put a lock upon my mouth, and affix a seal 
to my lips, that I may never transgress by foolish talk- 



ilyai j^iotB noi S>tt |ts^If, 

HE eye, proceeded Gotthold, the noblest mem- 
ber of the human body, does not see itself; 
and piety and godliness resemble it, in being 
destitute of self-consciousness. Believers do 
not believe that they believe. The humble 
are ignorant of their own humility. The best and most 
devout suppliants have their minds so full of God, that 
they are not aware, and never think of the fervor of 
their prayers. The kindest benefactors have no recol- 
lection of the good they do, and are surprised when 
men thank them for it. The pious fancy that they 
have no piety, and consequently are always fighting, 



striving, and exercising themselves to attain il, in 
which, indeed, growth in godliness consists. 

My God ! never have I greater reason for suspicion 
than when I am particularly pleased with myself, my 
faith, my prayers, and my alms. 



NE evening Gotthold met a shepherd walking 
behind his flock, and carrying in his arms a 
'[j^^^ lamb, that had just been dropped in the 
^^5^ field. The sight at once reminded him of 
the good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, and he 
thought of Isaiah's prediction concerning him : ^ He 
shall feed His flock like a shepherd. He shall gather 
the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, 
and shall gently lead those that are with young. He 
then exclaimed : Far be it from me to imagine for a 
moment that this shepherd is more attentive and afiec- 
tionate to his flock, than the Lord Jesus to the church, 
which He has purchased with His own blood. No, 
Thou faithful Shepherd ! Didst Thou not carry the 

1 Isaiah xl. 11. 



weak *and tender lambs, and watch continually over 
them ; didst Thou not seek that wliich is lost, bring 
again that which is driven away, and bind up that 
which is broken, Thou wouldst soon have no flock at all. 

My Saviour ! we are sheep and lambs, shy and timid, 
silly, weak, and helpless creatures, but Thou art a faith- 
ful Shepherd, and seest, knowest, and art able to do all 
things for us. Indeed, wert Thou to withhold Thy 
care, who could save us from destruction ? Lift up, 
then, my weary soul, Sliepherd, and carry it in Thy 
arms. Let Thine eye be over me, that I fall not behind 
in the way, and for this I Avill thank and praise Thee 
through eternity. 

-ooj«<oo . 


ÜRIXG an examination of a newly-built house, 
Gotthold inquired of some friends who accom- 
panied him, which of all the apartments they 
considered the best. One answered that he 
preferred the parlor, as being lofty in the ceil- 
ing, well lighted, and capable of being easily warmed. 
The others severally fixed upon the kitchen, the cellar, 



the business office, and the bed-rooms. Gotthold re- 
plied: No doubt these chambers will be the favorites 
of many. But what I meant to ask was, which of 
tliem a pious and godly Christian will prefer ; and 
there can be no doubt that that is the chamber set 
apart as the place of prayer, and of which our Saviour 
says : When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and 
when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which 
is in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret, shall 
reward thee openly.^ That chamber is the sanctuary 
of the house. From it, as from a fountain, the stream 
of blessing flows, and is conducted into every corner. 
Over it the heavens are open. There stands the celes- 
tial ladder, upon which the angels of God ascend and 
descend. There man speaks with the Most High, as 
with a friend, pours out his heart before Him, confides 
to Him all his concerns, and obtains from Him com- 
fort in tribulation, and joy in the midst of sorrow. 
There stands the ark, for whose sake the whole family, 
like that of Obededom, is blessed.^ Happy he whose 
house has such a closet, well furnished, and well em- 
ployed ! The meanest hut, whose inmates abound in 
prayer, is preferable to the costliest palaces of those 
who despise God. 

My God, my place of prayer shall be wherever I can 
lift up a devout heart in faith to Thee. I, too, have a 
chamber appropriated to this holy duty. But I know 

1 Matt. vi. 6. 2 2 Samuel vi. 11. 



that Thy goodness is confined to no particular spot, 
and, therefore, I can build myself an oratory anywhere. 


HE lark is distinguished from all other birds by 
the habit that, when about to sing, it does not 
Q^ky;^ seat itself upon the branch of a tree, or in a 
thorny bush, but soars, in successive pitches, 
^ ever higher and higher into the air, as if the 
longer it sang, the more desirous it grew to reach the 
heavens, and meant in this way to show in whose honor 
it pours forth its notes. Gottliold, one day, as he looked 
and listened with delight to the little warbler, thought 
with himself: Well did my Saviour say: Behold the 
fowls of the air.^ How beautifully this lark indicates 
to me the true method of prayer and praise to God ! 
Observation shows that it has its almost stated morning 
and evening hours for mounting from the earth, and 
chanting its little hymn to the praise of the Creator ; and 
ought I, who receive from that Creator blessings a thou- 
sand-fold greater than any bird, to be less diligent in 
this holy duty ? God forbid ! I will bless the Lord at 

1 Matt. vi. 26. 



all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth ; ^ 
and although I do occasionally feel that the glow of de- 
votion languishes in my bosom, yet I see in this lark, 
and know from experience, that there is no better 
means of fanning it into a flame, than the desire and 
effort to pray. The higher our spirit soars above the 
earth, the nearer it approaches heaven, and it cannot 
be but that that which approaches heaven shall be filled 
with heavenly wisdom, and that that shall imbibe light 
which aspires to the light eternal. Lord, when I cry 
unto Thee, then know I that God is for me.^ 

• ooJ^O« 


T is well known to be the habit of the hen, that 
when it has laid an egg, it announces the fact to 
its owner by loud cackling. On hearing this 
noise one day. Gotthold thought with himself : 
This hen acts as proud saints and hypocrites do. 
Such characters make a trade of godliness, and have 
no sooner, with only half their heart, performed a good 
work, than they are eager to have it everywhere trum- 
peted, and made known to their honor. True Chris- 
tians are of quite another mind. 

1 Psalm xxxiv. 2. 2 Psalm Ivi. 10. Luth. vers. 





^^^URING an excursion into the country, Gott- 
q]5l_P hold, observing the clods upon the rich ploughed 
fields, said to his companions : I recollect hav- 
ing read of an old nobleman, who, every morn- 
T ing when he rose, had a fresh lump of earth 
brought to him, and for a while inhaled the scent of it, 
considering this an efficacious means of preserving his 
health and lengthening his days. I wish that not only 
all noblemen, but all emperors, kings, princes, and 
lords, and, indeed, all Christians, observed the same 
custom. Whatever it might do to their bodies, it 
would infallibly promote the health of their souls, by 
reminding them of their mortality and nothingness. 
Let man parade, and boast himself as he will, he is 
nothing but a clod of earth, which the hand of God 
will very soon bruise and crumble into dust and ashes. 
There have been many famous monarchs in the world, 
great in name, power, and achievements. But what are 
they now? Search the tombs of the mightiest em- 
perors, — of Alexander, Charlemagne, and Otho, — and 
think you that you will find in them anything but a 
handful of earth ? It is the same with ourselves. All 
the great pains we have taken — our cares, toils, honors, 



and erudition — terminate at last in an earthen clod. 
For this reason, the wise man, when he beholds us 
vaporing with all the pomp of the frog in the moon- 
beam, cannot refrain from mocking us, and asks : Why- 
is earth and ashes proud ? Man is filthy while he liv- 
eth, and when he is dead, creeping beasts and wornis 
devour him. Oh that we always remembered this ! 


N a vessel filled with muddy water, the thickness 
visibly subsided to the bottom, and left the water 
purer and purer, until at last it seemed per- 
fectly limpid. The slightest motion, however, 
brought the sediment again to the top, and the 
water became thick and turbid as before. Here, said 
Gottliold, when he saw it, we have an emblem of the 
human heart. The heart is full of the mud of sinful 
lusts and carnal desires, and the consequence is, that 
no pure water — that is, good and holy thoughts — can 
flow from it. It is, in truth, a miry pit and sloiigh of 
sin, in which all sorts of ugly reptiles are bred and 
crawl. Many a one, however, is deceived by it, and 



never imagines Iiis heart half so wicked as it really 
is, because sometimes its lusts are at rest, and sink, as 
it were, to the bottom. On sucli occasions, his thoughts 
are apparently devout and holy, his desires pure and 
temperate, his words charitable and edifying, and his 
works useful and Christian. But this lasts only so 
long as he is not moved ; I mean so long as he is 
without opportunity or incitement to sin. Let that 
occur, and worldly lusts rise so thick, that his whole 
thoughts, words, and works, show no trace of anything 
but slime and impurity. One is meek as long as he 
is not thwarted ; cross him, and he is like powder, 
ignited by the smallest spark, and blazing up with a 
loud report and destructive effect. Another is tem- 
perate so long as he has no jovial companions ; a third 
chaste while the eyes of men are upon him. 

Alas, my God ! How often have I fancied that the 
world and all its lusts were a thousand miles away, 
and yet afterwards discovered that, like a crafty foe, 
she had kept quiet only to attack and beguile me un- 
awares. Often, in my communings with Thee, I have 
vowed that I would be courteous and friendly to the 
man by whom I had been injured, and would show it 
by my deportment. Nay, if required at the time, I 
would have confirmed my vow with any number of 
oaths ; and yet I have afterwards found that the very 
sight of him so violently stirred and agitated my heart, 
that nothing was visible in it but the mire of enmity. 



0, my God ! Purge me and I shall be clean, wash 
me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Create in me 
a clean heart.^ 


CfjHb's (B'xii. 

YOUNG- girl, with whose mother Gotthold was 
conversing in a garden, approached him at first 
with a few leaves, and at last with a flower 
which she had plucked beside the walk, and, 
with child-like grace, offered it to him as a pres- 
ent. Well, said he, my little maid, why should I not be 
satisfied with thy small gifts, bestowed as they are with 
a simple and child-like desire of giving, even as God 
must needs be, with similar gifts of mine. Fondly 
would I often bring to Him great faith, glowing char- 
ity, deep devotion, spiritual praise, sincere prayer, and 
perfect child-like obedience. But, though I search the 
whole garden of my heart, I can find no such flowers 
as these, or any worthy of being presented to Him, and 
He must be content to receive instead, weaknesses, 
good wishes and intentions, endeavors, and commence- 
ments. And so He is. He has shown us His fatherly 
and affectionate heart, by preferring the two mites cast 

1 Psalm li. 10. 



by the poor widow into the treasury, above all the 
costly gifts of the rich/ and by declaring that even a 
cup of cold water, given to a disciple in the name of a 
disciple, shall in nowise lose its reward.^ 

0, my Father ! my soul rejoices and exults that Thou 
art its God — that it can hope to attain all things from 
Thee — and that Thou art gracious enough to accept 
the poor gifts which, with a child's feeble hand, it ven- 
tures to present. I will, however, labor at all times to 
improve my gift. The best products of my powers and 
faculties I will bring and make oblation of them, by 
the hand of Jesus, my Mediator : that will secure for 
them, however poor, acceptance from Thee. 



OME pious friends, who were walking in the 
country, observed a stork seeking its food upon 
a beautiful meadow. One of them immediately 
observed : Let us here call to mind the com- 
plaint which the God of mercy makes by the 
mouth of the prophet Jeremiah.^ The stork in the 
heaven knoweth her appointed times, and the turtle, 

1 Luke xxi. 2, 3. 2 Matt. x. 42. 3 Jer. viii. 7. 



and the crane, and the swallow observe the time of 
their coming, but My people know not the judgment 
of the Lord. Alas ! how many there are who neglect 
the day of grace ; and although the long-suffering God 
opens wide to them the gate of heaven, and stretches 
forth His hand, and says, Here I am,^ pay no attention, 
but rather seek an open door to hell — I mean the 
opportunity of following after their sins. God ! keep 
us from security and hardness of heart ; and make our 
life a continual act of repentance, and return to Thee ! 

Gotthold subjoined : I lately read a very remarkable 
circumstance respecting these birds, namely, that so 
strong is their affection for their young, that they are 
not afraid even to die for them. There have been 
instances of conflagrations, in which they flew to and 
fro, with water in their beaks, to save their nests upon 
the burning houses. Nay, it once happened at Delft, 
in Holland, that, finding it impossible to preserve their 
brood, they placed themselves upon the nest, spread 
over them their wings, and so perished with them in 
the flames. That is what is called dying for love ! 
And of whom should such a circumstance remind us, 
if not of Him who would fondly gather all the poor 
children of men under His wings, who upon the cross 
died, not indeed tuiih us, but for us, and died of love. 
Yes, verily, no death could have killed Him. But love 
to us brought Him from heaven, and stretched and 

4 Isaiah Iviii. 9. 



slew Him upon the cross. The favorite season for 
gathering and drying plants is when they are in full- 
est vigor and fairest blossom ; and it seems to me as 
if the heavenly Father had destined for the death of 
His well-beloved Son the time at which the love of 
the Son had attained its utmost fervor. And as Jesus 
then died in love, so in love did He also rise again from 
the dead, and ascend into heaven, and now and through 
all eternity, can do nothing but dearly love the chil- 
dren of men. Oh that we had no eyes and no heart 
but for such a love as this ! Oh tliat it kindled in our 
bosoms an ever-fresh-and ever-fervent love in return ! 



Y the passage of a hostile army through the 
country, an afflicted man complained that he 

had lost his all, — his house having been plun- 
dered and burnt to ashes, and he himself 
driven from it with nothing but the staff in his 
hand. Gotthold, heartily sympathizing with him, spoke, 
for his comfort, as follows : Be of good cheer ; we have 
a God who can make us happy even in adversity. He 



then pointed to a young lime, which had shortly before 
been removed from the open field, and planted for orna- 
ment and shade in front of his house, and said : Mark 
that tree. By my command it was lately planted there. 
Its boughs have all been lopped, the stock polled, and 
now it stands disfigured and without a leaf. But no 
other treatment would have done it good. Had the 
branches been spared, the roots, so recently disturbed, 
and, as yet, imperfectly established in the foreign soil, 
could not have supplied them with sap, and, as an inev- 
itable consequence, both they and the stock must have 
died. There, however, the stock now stands, naked in- 
deed, but still alive, and distributing whatever sap it 
receives from below into a few little buds, which by 
degrees will burst, and grow, and flourish. In the 
same way ^oes a faithful God often deal with those 
Christians whom He intends to transplant from the soil 
of the world into the kingdom of His Son. He suffers 
them to be reduced to poverty and want, causes tlie 
boughs of their temporal prosperity to be hewn off by 
robbery, injustice, war, or conflagrations, in order that 
they may serve Him with a readier will ; and with 
lighter burdens and fewer impediments, proceed along 
the narrow way that leadeth unto life. If you have 
lost your all, count yourself happy that in this respect 
you have attained to conformity with your Saviour, 
who had not so much as where to lay His head.^ At 

1 Matt. viii. 20. 



His birth, His bed was a manger, but it was not His 
own. He taught the people from a ship, but that was 
Simon Peter's. Into the city of Jerusalem He rode 
upon an ass, but it was borrowed for the purpose. The 
little clothing which He possessed, the soldiers divided 
among them, and cast lots for His seamless coat. The 
only thing He could call His own, was the cross on 
whicli He shed His precious blood. Be thankful, there- 
fore, that although you have lost all else, you have still 
a cross which you can take up and bear in the footsteps 
of your Master Jesus. 


LYII. % 

t ^lant hx Ciliar» 

A VING occasion to go into the cellar. Gotthold 
^ found a turnip, which had been left by accident, 
and had vegetated and sent forth long and 

slender shoots. These, however, were unnat- 
urally of a pale yellow color, and therefore 
unfit for use. Here, thought he, I have the type of a 
human undertaking from which God withholds His 
blessing, and which must, therefore, necessarily mis- 
carry. This plant wants sunshine and open air, with- 



out which it cannot thrive, and so it grows in weakness 
for a little, and then withers and dies. It is the same 
with all our acts and enterprises, which are not irradi- 
ated by the grace of God, nor fostered by His blessing. 
According to the words of the Saviour,' Every plant 
which my Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.^ 


ERCEIYING, in the month of May, the pomp 
and beauty of the roses, a person remarked : This 
^ is the flower which the Holy Spirit Himself has 
selected as the emblem of the believing soul, be- 
cause, as the rose is environed with thorns, so 
likewise is such a soul with tribulation. Gotthold re- 
plied ; You say well, and no doubt you have also some- 
times experienced the thorns which wound and vex the 
Christian's heart. We are told that the fragrance of 
the rose is greatly increased by planting a bunch of 
foetid garlic beside it. If this be true, it serves to illus- 
trate the benefit which may accrue to an upright and 
godly man from a wicked and shameless slanderer. In 
fact, the fame of many would be circumscribed by nar- 

i Matt. :;v. 13, 



row limits, if their slanderers did not help, even against 
their will, to sound it far and wide. The reason is, 
that the more a man is calumniated and traduced, the 
more do the honorable-minded, who prefer their own 
good name above all the treasures of the world, and 
are, consequently, reluctant to believe discreditable 
things of others, feel bound to take into account the 
person, look, gestures, and dispositions of him who ut- 
ters the calumny, and so are led to feel a deeper inter- 
est than they otherwise would in the party against 
whom it is levelled. The ultimate consequence is, that 
the rose remains, after all, a fragrant and beautiful 
flower, and the garlic an offensive weed ; I mean that 
the virtuous man continues to be honored and beloved, 
while the slanderer is disgraced and hated. Besides, 
the slanderer exercises the good man's patience, shows 
him the maliciousness of the devil, weans him from the 
world, exercises him in humility, acquaints him with 
his sins, and incites him to fly from the vices with 
which he is charged, and to cultivate the opposite vir- 
tues. In short, every calumny thrown at him is a pearl 
that will one day beautify his celestial crown. This is 
what King David afiirms when he says : Lord, in hum- 
bling me (by shame and persecution). Thou hast made 
me great. ^ 

My God, Thou makest all things work together for 
good to them that love Thee.^ That I do love Thee, is 

1 Psalm xviii. 35. Luth. vers. 

2 Rom. viii. 28. 



no doubt more than I can say of myself. But tliat I 
earnestly wish to love Thee, I can with truth declare. 
Yea, could I collect in my heart the love of all angels 
and all men, I woidd pour forth the whole flood to 
Thee, and Thee alone. Oh, then, let the reproaches of 
mine enemies become to me a praise, and their curse 
a blessing ! 

c>oJ«tJo<> . 


OTT HOLD had kept a singing bird for some 
time in a cage, so that at last it became habitu- 
ated to its prison, and not only warbled its 
cheerful and pleasant notes, but even, when the 
door was opened, showed no desire to escape. 
Observing this, he could not help saying to himself: 
Ah me ! would that I could learn from this bird con- 
tentment with my condition, and submission to the Di- 
vine will ! Would that I were habituated to the ways 
and dealings of my God, and believed in my heart that 
His designs towards me cannot but be good ! This lit- 
tle bird is, indeed, imprisoned, but it receives abun- 
dance of food, and therefore is content, — hops about 
upon the perch, sings its song, and lias no desire to 



change its condition. Even so God often environs me 
with divers crosses and straits, but never yet has left 
me destitute of comfort or succor. Why, then, am I 
not happy ? Wliy do I not sing, and thank Him with a 
joyful heart, even in the midst of tribulation ? One 
feels constrained to do, as Luther expresses it, lift the 
hat, and say to such a bird, " Dear doctor, I must con- 
fess that I greatly lack your skill. You sleep by night 
in your little nest, undisturbed by care. In the morn- 
ing you rise, cheerful and merry, take your seat upon 
your perch, warble your song of praise and gratitude to 
God, and then seek and find your food." 

Well then, my God, I too will be content and happy, 
and wish for nothing but what Thou wilt. From my 
cross, my burden, my adversity, I will not ask to be 
relieved until it please Thee to relieve me. Nay, I 
have no desire even to be in heaven, so long as it is 
Thy pleasure that I should serve Thee and Thy church 
in this life of misery and toil. To me let Thy will be 
heaven ; Thy counsel, wisdom ; Thy good pleasure, sat- 
isfaction ! The only wish I have is, that it may be well 
with me in time and eternity. But, as this my wish is 
also Thy will, our end and aim are one and the same, 
and it is only about the ways and means of attaining it 
that we sometimes disagree. No harm, however, is 
done, although the way Thou leadest me is different 
from that which my folly reckons jrood ; provided Thou 
leadest me well, and I secure the object of my desire. 




'^xn^ in §l0ss0m. 

ATE in spring, when the weather was beautiful, 
and the fruit trees showed one mass of blossom, 
Gotthold, walking in his garden, and feasting his 
eyes with their splendor, made the following ob- 
servations to a friend: These trees bear much 
more blossom than thej can possibly ripen into fruit. 
This shows in them an inward and natural disposition 
to pay liberally for the ground they occupy, but after- 
wards they are more or less hindered by outward cir- 
cumstances, from carrying it into effect. It is the same 
with good men. Ah, me ! how large, how keen, how 
many thousand-fold are often their good resolutions and 
inward desires to love and serve the Lord ! God, we 
hear them cry, had I the love of all angels and men, it 
should burn for Thee alone ! Had I ten thousand hearts, 
to Thee should they be consecrated and resigned ! Had 
I the tongues of all mankind, their only employment 
should be to praise and extol Thee, God of glory! 
With what alacrity and joy I will henceforth serve 
Thee ! Ah, me ! why did I not know Thee sooner, 
Thou pure and eternal love ! Depart from me, ye evil 
doers, for I will keep the commandments of my God.^ 
At such a time, the tree is in full blossom j and the in- 

1 Psalm cxix. 115. 




ward impulse of the Holy Spirit, and the constraining 
power of the love of Christ, are powerfully felt. Scarce 
a tithe of the blossom, however, ripens into fruit. But 
as man, notwithstanding, takes pleasure in beholding it 
upon the tree, so does God delight in a heart overflow- 
ing with fervor, and holy resolutions, and in the fruits 
and works of righteousness, though these may at first 
be few. 

Lord, my God and Father! have patience likewise 
with me, and be satisfied with the blossom and poor 
firstlings of my Christianity. Do Tliou also purge me, 
and vouchsafe to me Thy blessing, that I may become 
more and more fruitful and productive. 



/^iS^?^ Ü R T H E R discoursing upon this subject, they 
^ observed that the bees were haunting the trees 
^^^^f^ in crowds, humming among the branches, and 
j^S^ gathering honey in the flowers. See, said 
Gotthold, here is an image of temporal pros- 
perity. So long as there is blossom on the trees, and 
honey in the blossom, the bees will frequent them in 
crowds, and fill the place with their music ; but, when 



the blossom is over, and the honey gone, they too will 
disappear. The same happens in the world among 
men. In the abodes of fortune and pleasure, friends 
will be found in plenty ; but when fortune flies away, 
they depart along with it. Temporal gain is the world's 
honey, and the allurement with which you may entice it 
whithersoever you will ; but where the gain terminates, 
there, likewise, do the love and friendship of the world 
stop. For this reason, let all good men be advised to 
fly to Christ crucified, who never forsakes, in their dis- 
tress, those who truly seek him. 



OTTHOLD had feasted his eyes upon the rich 
blossom of the trees, and indulged the hope 
that, in autumn, he would joyfully gather 
the fruit. In a few days, however, he dis- 
covered that a noxious mildew had bred a 
multitude of caterpillars, and that these had consumed 
both blossoms and leaves, and left the brandies as 
naked as if they had been scorched with fire. Such, 
thought he, is the fate of human hopes and pleasures, 
which vanish like vapor before we are aware. Where- 




ever there are leaves, blossom, and fruit, be sure there 
will also be caterpillars to waste and consume them. 
When we fancy our prosperity to be in full blossom, 
and prepare to enjoy it to our heart's content, in a 
moment we discover that it has vanished like a shadow. 
All that is good here beneath the sun is attended by 
some evil, or encounters some foe. Pleasure, riches, 
honor, and joy are sure to have care, disgrace, adver- 
sity, and affliction in their train. There is no pleasure 
without pain, no joy without sorrow. Oh the folly of 
expecting lasting felicity in a vale of tears, or paradise 
in a ruined world ! 

ROCEEDING through his orchard. Gotthold 

continued : Let us not, however, forget that we 
^j!^^ have all a caterpillar's nest in our own bosoms ; 

I mean a carnal and depraved heart, in which 

wicked lusts, the spawn of original sin, are 
bred and swarm. These, if indulged, immediately 
creep forth, and destroy both soul and body. It gives 
the Christian enough to do to keep them down, and 
at last put them to death. To this effect, Luther him- 




self said, that he was more afraid of his own heart 
than of the Pope and all his cardinals ; and to my- 
self a good man once observed : My own heart makes 
life bitter to me, and death sweet. 

Over this caterpillar's nest, help me. Lord, to watch 
diligently, and with all my might to check its brood 
of vices. Oh, when wilt Thou save me from myself, 
and from my own heart ! 



OME worthy persons had seated themselves be- 
neath a walnut tree, in order to enjoy the pro- 
tection of its shade from the heat of the day. 
Gotthold happening to pass, accosted, and warned 
them not to tarry long where they were, as the 
shade of the walnut tree is injurious to the health, and 
usually causes severe headache. On their replying that 
they were not, as yet, sensible of the slightest bad 
effects, he rejoined : But you certainly will experience 
them afterwards, though not, perhaps, for a day. In 
this tree, he proceeded to say, we have an emblem of 
bad company. A good man, when obliged to associate 
and converse with persons of an opposite character, 
often resolves that he will be upon his guard, keep the 



door of his senses barred, and allow nothing sinful to 
enter his mind ; and in this, at first, he thinks that he 
succeeds. Afterwards, however, he is almost always 
obliged to confess, with sorrow, that bad company has 
been to him like this tree, whose shadow for awhile 
cools and refreshes us, but in the sequel is the cause of 
much trouble. Satan knows what advantage afterwards 
to take of all that has occurred, and once more calls 
up the carnal ideas before the inward eye, to disturb 
the mind in its holy exercises, and sensibly impair the . 
fervor of its devotion. Though he may have listened 
without pleasure, and even with positive disrelish and 
abhorrence to the jests, extravagances, and follies of 
the licentious company, the good man will yet have 
enough to do to resist the assaults and repel the darts 
of Satan. Truly, therefore, did an old teacher call bad 
companions the wet nurses of the devil. It is best to 
keep aloof from them. The little sinful pleasure they 
can give, will issue at last in pain and sorrow. The 
saintly Tauler says, in one of his discourses : " Turn 
we, whithersoever or to whomsoever we may, in this 
sphere of time, we shall find nothing but falsehood, 
treachery, and dispeace, in all outward objects and per- 
sons. Often where we seek, and think we shall surely 
find solace and dcliglit, there Ave lose all inward com- 
fort, and are wholly robbed of that peace of mind 
which has cost us many a day in our retirement to lay 
up. Nay, we even cause great trouble iu our breast, 



for we burden ourselves with the guilt of idle, super- 
fluous, and false words, with waste of time, and various ; 
other sins, wliicli freeze the heart and extinguish love, i 
so that conscience afterwards sorely gnaws and stings j 
us." These, my God, were the words of Thy ser- j 
vant, more than three lumdred years ago. What would 
he have said now, when ungodliness has swelled to so j 
overwhelming a flood, that a man of tender conscience j 
can no longer pass his threshold, or look out of his win- ' 
^dow, without witnessing some scandal ? 

Lord, keep watch over my soul, and bring it 
through danger and Satan's many snares, despite his 
malice, unto everlasting life. Oh, how shall I then ex- 
tol Thy name for ever and ever 1 \ 


-oo^S^^oo j 


LXY. 1 

|Y God and Father, subjoined Gotthold in 
prayer, I call to mind the words of Thy 
prophet,^ Thou hast covered Thyself with 
a cloud, that our prayers should not pass 
through. Alas ! so it is too often with me 

and Thee. A dark cloud of trouble encamps between 
us. Nor can I complain of this, for it arises from 

1 Lam. iii. 44. 



my own sins and transgressions. Still, as the sun 
shines even behind the clouds, operates in them, and 
sheds its genial influence, with the rain, upon the 
earth ; so, even in trouble. Thou still continuest my 
God, and so powerful is Thy working in it, that, after 
a brief interval, I can mark the traces of Thy grace 
upon my soul ; and hence, whether smiling or frown- 
ing, Thou art still my beloved Father and my gracious 


f REFLECTING, said Gotthold, upon the words 
^ of Thy prophet, How great is Thy goodness 

Lord, which Thou hast laid up for them that 
fear Thee,^ it seems to me that he means to 
depict God as a Father who, no doubt, keeps 

His children under discipline, and subjects them to the 
rod, but who, with all his labor and pains, still aims 
at nothing but to lay up for them a store which may 
contribute to their comfort, when they have grown to 
maturity and learned the prudent use of it. 

My Father, in this world Thou lüdest from Thy chil- 

1 Psalm xxxi. 19. 



drcn Thy great goodness, as if it did not pertain to 
them. But being Thy children, we may be well as- 
sured that the celestial treasures will be bestowed upon 
none else. For this reason, I will bear my lot with 
patience. But oh ! from time to time, waft to me a 
breath of air from the heavenly land, to refresh my 
sorrowful heart ; I will then wait more calmly for its 
full fruition. How amiable are Thy tabernacles, 
Lord of Hosts ! my soul longeth, yea, even faintetli 
for the courts of the Lord ; my heart and my flesh 
crietli out for the living God.^ When shall I come 
and appear before God ? ^ 



S he was walking in a garden, Gotthold saw a 
collection of flowers, planted in beautifully 

P^ii^ted and ornamented pots, and shown off 
upon a lofty stage ; and he thought with him- 
self: Even these flowers are daughters of the 
earth ; by earth they live, and to earth they shall be 
turned. Of earth, too, are formed, and with earth are 
fdled, the gaudy pots in which they grow. Wait but 
a little, and of all the showy flowers which figure on 

1 Psalm Ixxxiv. 1, 2. 2 Psalm, xlii. 2. 



that lofty stage, there will be no more to say than of 
the humble violet that creeps upon the ground, and 
fades in the month of March. Paint such a flower-pot^ 
and inscribe it with the motto : We fade like other 
flowers ; earth and nothing more ; and you will have 
an appropriate emblem of worldly greatness and glory. 
It is true, that in the garden of the world God has ex- 
alted some men among the rest, and given them supe- 
rior consequence and distinction, by the dignities, hon- 
ors, offices, wealth, palaces, clothing, or attendants, 
which they possess. After all, however, they still con- 
tinue earth and ashes, are sustained by the earth, like 
others ; and when they have shed their blossoms, and 
finished their course, become earth in the strictest 
sense of the word. 


Jfr axltus, 

GOOD man was complaining of his many frail- 
ties. I am, he said, like a child, who this 
moment gives, and the next takes back the 
gift. In my intentions, I give liberally to my 
God, but I soon reclaim all that I have given. 
Wlien He alarms or corrects me, I make Him plenty 
of promises ; but, alas ! they are soou forgotten, and 



seldom kept. Hereupon his eyes filled with tears. 
Well, said Gotthold, if it be true that you arc like a 
child, it is also true that God likens Himself to a 
father, who pitieth his children.^ For my part, I 
never either saw or heard of a father who, for a few 
faults or short-comings, drove his child from his home, 
drowned him in the river, or cast him into the fire. 
Without patience, and a large measure of pity on a 
father's part, it is impossible to train a child and rear 
him to manhood ; and unless God overlook many 
faults, and exercise great compassion towards us, not 
one of us will ever enter heaven. Or, do we men, 
who are evil, suppose that we can possibly be more 
fatient than the gracious and long-suffering God ? 
The moon, even at the brightest, is not without spots ; 
and just as little is the Christian without sins, even 
at his best. It is true he has forsaken his sins, but 
his sins have not forsaken him. Recollect that you 
are under the eye and discipline of a good and gra- 
cious God, who knoweth our frame, and whose wisdom 
and goodness shine most conspicuously in the fatherly 
long-suffering and forbearance with which He treats 
the frailties of His saints, and renders even these sub- 
servient to their welfare. Above all, however, forget 
not to look to the crucified Jesus, and His sacred blood 
and merits. You are not the man to stand before God 
in your own strength ; Christ must be in you, and you 
in Christ. 

1 Psalm ciii. 13. 




EEING a young lady in tears. Gotthold, inquir- 
ing into the cause, was told, that in a company 
of persons of her own age, she had been slighted 
and overlooked on account of her poverty, plain 
attire, and simple manners. He thereupon ex- 
claimed : Blessed is he whom the world slights and 
disregards ! He is like the shipwrecked mariner, tossed 
by the violence of the sea, but tossed upon a cliff, where 
he can save his life. How good it is when the world, 
which usually plays the part of seductress for the devil, 
itself cuts off the opportunity of sinning I Believe me, 
those young ladies who are so gayly attired, and so 
fondly worshipped and caressed, are like beautiful flow- 
ers, around which the bees and moths swarm in crowds, 
to rob them of their honey. Godliness is like a pre- 
cious oil in a brittle phial. The best way to preserve 
it is to lay it upon the shelf, and not trust it into im- 
prudent hands. If you are no favorite with the world, 
let the world be no favorite with you, and this will 
adjust the balance. Make it your single aim to please 
God. Let the crown and wreath about your head be 
His grace ; your necklace, a string of texts of Scrip- 
ture ; your pearls, tears of repentance, prayer, and 
love ; your garments, piety and righteousness of faith ; 



your ring, a good conscience ; your lace, humility ; 
your white linen, an unblemished walk ; your favorite 
language, prayer ; your mirror, the law, and holy life 
of Jesus ; and your riches, heaven. Thus you will be 
the bride of Christ, and, in the land of glory, be pre- 
ferred before many others. 



OTTHOL D one day visited a sick man, who 
» suffered great inward anguish, as the drops of 
sweat upon his face testified. He tossed im- 
patiently from side to side upon his bed, 
often rose, and made them carry him from place to 
place, in the vain hope of finding ease and rest. Gott- 
hold sighed to behold him, and thought with himself: 
How vain to think of curing inward care and trouble 
by external means, apply or change them as often as 
you may ! The best thing for this poor man would be 
to exercise, if he could, some little self-control, and pa- 
tiently wait till rest came. But we often act in the 
same way in our spiritual troubles. The burdened 
conscience, or the heart pierced by the arrows of the 



Almighty, seeks rest in restlessness, tries every plan, 
and endeavors by outward pleasure to deaden the sense 
of inward anguish. 


fl day in spring, Gotthold observed a swallow 
Lsily employed in building its nest, and fastening 
it to one of the windows of the church. It 
collected and wrought the clay with its bill ; 
and, although it could carry little at a time, 
still, by dint of unceasing industry, it contrived, ere 
long, to fashion and complete the fabric. Here, said 
he to himself, I have a pleasing image of the indus- 
trious and godly man. Many such commence life as 
poor as this bird, which has nothing but what God 
allots it, or its bill can scrape together. Nevertheless, 
if they do not grow weary in prayer and well-doing, 
the bountiful Giver of all good gives them one penny 
to-day, and another to-morrow, until they accumulate 
a heap of surprising magnitude. If, however, it be 
true that persevering labor, conjoined with the Divine 
blessing, can do so great things, I ought to act upon 



tHs truth in collecting spiritual riches. My abilities 
are small, and my faith weak ; still I will trust to God's 
gracious aid, and never doubt that, by steady exercise 
and holy diligence, my Christianity will increase and 
improve from day to day. It is Thy method, God, 
when Thou hast a great work in hand, to begin with 
little things, or even with nothing, that Thy excellent 
power and free grace may have all the glory. Even 
so I will never fear the successful increase of my god^ 
liness, however small it may be, so long as Thy good 
Spirit does not cease to work within me. 

Teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God. 
Thy Spirit is good. Lead me into the land of upright- 


OTTHOLD observed that some willow trees, 
which had been hewn down and laid upon the 
'\^<^y^ ground, to mend the path, had sprouted, and 
""'^^ sent their shoots upright into the air. This, 
said he, is a pleasing image of those who, 
having been humbled by sickness and divers misfor- 
tunes, lie, as it were, prostrate under the world's feet, 

1 Psalm cxliii. 10. 



but direct their sighs and aspirations, desires and 
tlioiights, solely to the better world — of such a per- 
son, for instance, as Lazarus. Oh, how blessed is that 
humiliation which elevates the heart to heaven ! How 
desirable to lie beneath the feet of the world, in respect 
of our outward circumstances, while in spirit we repose 
in the bosom of God ! 


ROCEEDING, Gotthold remarked: As the 
stag, which the huntsman has hit, flies through 
bush and brake, over stock and stone, and 
thereby exhausts its strength, but does not ex- 
pel the deadly bullet from its body ; so does 
experience show that they who have troubled con- 
sciences run from place to place, but wherever they go, 
bear with them their dangerous wounds. In such cases, 
the true remedy is patience, and the word of the 
prophet : I will bear the indignation of the Lord, be- 
cause I have sinned against Him.^ Sighs, groans, and 
tears, are not forbidden, but impatience, and incessant 
change of place, only aggravate the evil. 

1 Micah vii. 9. 



Thou faithful God! if it be Thy gracious will to 
bring anguish like this upon my soul, enable me to wait 
upon Thee, from whom cometh my salvation.^ Lord 
Jesus, in obedience to Thy word, when I labor and am 
heavy laden, I will go unto Thee, for with Tliee I shall 
assuredly find rest unto my soul.^ If I run at all, it 
shall be after Thee, and as a weeping child. As for me, 
I will call upon God, and the Lord shall save me. Even- 
ing, morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud, 
and He shall hear my voice, and deliver my soul in 
peace from the battle that was against me.^ 


jFoItrtij faiths. 

HE grace having been one day said at table, the 
question was started, what might be signified 
by the custom of folding the hands at prayer, 
^C^i when Gotthold began and said : The out- 
ward posture and carriage of the body and 
its several members, during prayer, has been different 
in different periods, and among different nations. Li 
the Old Testament, and likewise at the commencement 
of the New, it was the custom to pray with the arms 

1 Psalm Ixii. 1. 

2 Matt. xi. 28, 29. 

3 Psalm Iv. 16—18 


and hands extended, so that the body of the suppliant 
formed a perfect cross. This custom was, no doubt, 
suggested to the early believers by the remembrance, 
and was intended also to serve as a memorial, of their 
Lord's death. In subsequent times it gave place to our 
method of folding the hands, which has not only the 
same, but, as I shall endeavor to explain, a much larger 
import. We pray with our thumbs across, and this 
ought to remind us to found our expectations of being 
heard upon our crucified Saviour. The fingers inter- 
twined admonish in like manner, to pray in sincerity, 
with pacific and forgiving hearts, inasmuch, as if our 
minds be alienated by strife and discord, our prayers 
cannot please the God of peace. It often happens, that 
during prayers, and as the warmth of our devotion in- 
creases, the hands involuntarily clasp closer and closer 
together, as if we grasped some object between them, 
and wished to liold it fast. Of this, a pious man once 
said : " Often, when in prayer, I feel as if I held be- 
tween my palms the fatherly heart of my God and the 
bloody hand of the Lord Jesus, for I remind the one 
of His divine love and inconceivable mercies, and I 
grasp the other by His promise, and strive to hold Him 
fast and say, I will not let Thee go except Thou bless 
me." ^ As we likewise know that a devout heart is the 
chief requisite for acceptable prayer, so may the linking 
of the fingers remind us that we ought not in prayer 

1 Gen. xxxii. 26. 



to permit our thoughts to flutter to and fro, but should 
bind them firmly together by holy resolution, and point 
them to the one object of calling upon God in spirit 
and in truth/ In like manner, finally, the folding of 
the hands conduces to humility in prayer ; inasmuch as 
we thereby present ourselves before a righteous God in 
something of the attitude of malefactors, with our 
hands bound. Oh that when we do so, we may clearly 
and inwardly feel that, by our manifold sins, we have 
justly deserved to be bound hand and foot, and cast 
into outer darkness, so that in our prayers we can no 
longer plead our rights, but only implore mercies. 

Lord Jesus! give me a truly believing, meek, and 
humble heart, and then when I pray, I shall never pray 
in vain. 



t f (jp f htlti 

1^^) A VING gone into a hop ground. Gotthold took 
pleasure in observing how elegantly the weak 
V>-7^^ and slender plant twined around the poles, 
j^Ä> and climbed till it overtopped them, and began 
* to reflect wliy it had pleased the infinitely wise 
Creator of all things to make this and other plants, 

1 John iv. 24. 



such as the vine, the ivy, the pea, and the cucumber, 
which cannot grow without extraneous help and sup- 
port. One reason, as he observed, no doubt was, that 
I might everywhere find objects to remind me how 
weak I am. These plants are destitute alike of beauty 
and fruitfulness, unless they find a pole to be the sup- 
port of their feebleness. It is the same with my soul, 
which labors under a thousand infirmities. Sin makes 
me weak and so does sorrow, and manifold temptations 
from within and without ; and how could I exist, or 
shoot towards heaven, unless upheld by the power of 
God and the stake of the cross of Gingst? These 
plants are impelled by a natural exigence to seek 
support ; so that we sometimes see them creeping 
for a space along the ground, and, as it were, lan- 
guishing till they meet with something around which 
they can twine. Several of them, too, are provided 
by nature with little tendrils and bands, by which 
they fasten and attach themselves to their supports. 
Even so do I feel within me the motions of the Holy 
Spirit, constantly reminding me of my weakness, in- 
spiring me with repentance and humility, and making 
me yearn for the grace of God and the cross of my 
Lord Jesus. My tendrils and bands are the believ- 
ing sighs with which I take hold of Christ, the prop 
and support of my salvation, and so, weak though I 
am, I stand even against the might of the gates of 




ISITINGa friend one day, Gottliold found liim 
seated with his family at table, and observed 
that the children all received a due portion 
of food, and Avere required to eat it in a 
quiet and orderly way ; but, that beside the father's 
plate, there was also lying upon the table a rod, to 
warn them against improprieties of conduct and man- 
ners. He thereupon observed to his friend : You 
treat you.r children as our heavenly Father treats 
His. He, too, prepares a table before them,^ and gives 
them all sorts of good things, spiritual and temporal, 
to enjoy, and yet the rod, which is another name for 
the cross, must likewise be at hand, that we may not 
become froward, but walk in holy fear and filial obedi- 
ence. Of this truth, God has given us an almost simi- 
lar emblem in the Sacred Scriptures. For the ark of 
the Old Testament contained not only the golden pot 
with the manna, but also Aaron's rod, which blossomed, 
to intimate the authority He exercises over His family, 
and teach us that although He feeds the members with 
the hidden manna ^ of His sweet grace. He also pur- 
poses to use the rod, if He shall see cause, and to do 
both the one and the other for our welfare and salva- 

1 Psalm xxiii. 5. 

2 ne)j. ix. 4. 

3 Rev. ii. 17. 



tion. The same hand prepares the table and wields the 
rod. From one and the same heart flow both comfort 
and cross. God continues our loving and gracious Fa- 
ther when He chastises and corrects, no less than when 
He refreshes and comforts us. A good man once perti- 
nently said, that it was a doubtful matter whether 
bread or chastisement was best for children, because, 
while bread was necessary for them to live, chastise- 
ment was necessary for their living well. Even so 
must we, too, confess that the dear cross is as needful 
to us as life itself, and far more needful and salutary 
than all the blessings and honors of the world. In 
heaven, the glorified spirits, who now fully understand 
its mystery, and enjoy, in the everlasting rest, the 
sweet fruit which grows upon this thorny brier, will 
thank the all-wise and gracious God especially, for His 
holy cross and fatherly correction, without which they 
would never have reached the seat of bliss and glory. 
Let us also learn this lesson, and say from the heart : 
It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might 
learn Thy statutes.^ Whether we like it or not, the 
Lord our God will not change His ways. Whoever 
wishes to be His child, must take bread and sorrow 
together from His hand. No guest at His table need 
think it strange to see the rod upon it, and be obliged 
often to eat his heavenly Father's bread moistened with 
tears. Here, in this world, it cannot be otherwise ; but 

I Psalm cxix. 71. 



when we shall one day sit at His table in heaven, every 
rod shall be cast into the fire. 

my Father! I am becoming accustomed, by degrees, 
to Thy ways, and have no objection to the rules of Thy 
domestic government. Daily do I strive to learn, not 
only to relish the bread, but also to kiss the rod. 



ANY a man, said Gotthold, has an ill-favored 
countenance, is lean and haggard, pale and 
sallow, and mean in his attire, and yet, under 
an ungainly exterior, conceals great talents 
and virtues. Such is the case with death. 
Ah me ! how much that is good, and sweet, and blessed, 
is concealed beneath its sour aspect and transitory bit- 
terness ! It is not I who die when I die, but my sin and 
misery. As often as I think of death, I figure to my- 
self that I see a messenger coming from a distant land, 
bringing me good news of my Saviour, the Bridegroom 
of my soul, and of the inheritance which He has pur- 
chased with His blood, and reserves for me in heaven. 
What care I altlioughi the messenger have an ugly face, 



be armed with a long dart, wear a tattered coat, and 
knock rudely at my door ? I attend less to his appear- 
ance than to his business. 

My Faitliful Saviour ! It should not distress me 
though all the birds of tlie air were daily and hourly to 
sing and discourse to me of my mortality. The nectar 
I sip from Thy dripping wounds, swallows np the few 
bitter drops which death pours out to me from his cr-f3, 
at my departure from this world. What, Lord Jesus, 
should I long for more than to depart and be with 
Thee ! 


EING present at a marriage, after the perform- 
) ance of the ceremony, Gotthold observed, with 
wonder, the pains and unremitting attention 
and zeal of the parents of the bride to enter- 
tain the guests and minister to their enjoyment. 

Well, said Gottliold to himself. Marriage seems to me 
to be o]ie of the most unaccountable of miracles. 
These parents love Ihoii' child ; they brouglit her into 



tlie world with sorrow and pain, educated her with 
much labor and expense, and now have reared her to 
that time of life at which she might be helpful to 
them in their impending old age, and take a share in 
the management of their business or household ; when, 
behold, they give her away to a man who is a stranger 
to them, and never did anything to earn the boon. 
Nay, they give her with outlay and trouble, joy and 
feasting, as if they counted it a happy thing to be quit 
of her. What is more, with their child they likewise 
give him their hearts, and conceive for him an affection 
often as strong as for their own bodily offspring. The 
daughter, likewise, now forsakes her father's house, and 
all the enjoyments to which she was there accustomed, 
and resigns herself to the conjugal service of a man, 
who, but a short time before, was wholly unknown to 
her. Yerily, there is here a higher hand, which knows 
how to incline hearts, and knit them together, above all 
human thought and expectation, but in His own wise 
and wondrous way. 

My God, we men have often our hands so full, that 
we forget that the supreme government of all things 
belongs to Thee. And Thou, on Thy part, often con- 
ductest Thy government so quietly, or permittest events 
to take so strange a course, that the last thing wo 
would suspect is the presence of Thy hand in the game. 
A closer inspection, however, soon shows us that Thou 
controUest and bringest into order the vast confusion 



of the world, and, even in silence, marvellously display^ 
est Thy gracious crown. He, therefore, is a fool who 
wills anything but what Thou wilt. 


^^AFTER a heavy fall of rain, and when a gentle 
east wind was beginning to clear the sky, 
p^-j^^ Gotthold walked forth into the fields, thanked 

)^^^ his God for the fertilizing storm ; and lifting 
I his eyes to the heavens and beholding the roll- 
ing clouds, said to himself: My God, there go the 
chariots in which (to use the language of weak men) 
Thou ridest forth to inspect Thy fields and gardens. 
Thy meadows, forests, and plains. Beggars are wont 
to run behind the chariots of the wealthy, and cry 
aloud for alms. To Thee, God, we are all beggars ; 
and when Thou ridest forth on Thy chariot of the 
clouds, we cry after Thee, Give us this day our daily 
bread. The clouds are also the pitcher with which, 
like a gardener. Thou waterest the sultry glebe in 
times of drought. They are the pipes by which Thou 



conductest moisture into the firmament, and tlience 
causest it to descend in rain, and bless the earth. 
Thej are Thy storehouses, richly filled with wine, 
beer, oil, butter, corn, and malt, and Thou openest 
it in Thy goodness, and satisfiest the desire of every- 
thing that lives. They are great curtains, which, at 
Thy good pleasure. Thou drawest as a covering for 
the plants, tliat they may not be withered and de- 
stroyed by the continuance of the heat. Not seldom, 
too, are they the arsenal in which Thou keepest Thine 
artillery of thunder and lightning, in order, at set 
times, to strike the children of men with reverential 
awe, or inflict upon them some great punishment. 


N a certain neighborhood, the young men had 
been allowed, for pleasure and pastime, to set 
up a target, at which they shot, all endeavoring 
to do their best. Gotthold happened to be in the 
vicinity, and, hearing the reports, fell into the 
following train of reflection : All of these shooters aim 
at the black mark, and yet there can be little doubt 




that only a few will hit it. The same is the case with 
our Christianity and its perfection. Since the fall we 
no longer (to use the sportsman's phrase) have a 
steady hand. But although an outline of Divine per- 
fection, in other words, the Law, is set before us, as 
the mark at which, in all our thoughts, words, and 
works, we are to aim ; still we so often shoot aside, 
that our perfection is really imperfection, and we must 
even reckon it a kind of perfection to be aware how 
imperfect we are, mourn over our defects, and en- 
deavor, by the practice of godliness, to grow daily 
better. None of us has reached the mark as we 
ought to have done ; but we are all upon the way 
to it, one nearer, another not so near, and God is 
satisfied with us, if He only find us laboring and 
pressing towards it. "Would that men were but sat- 
isfied with each other, when this one strikes the cen- 
tre, and that one only touches the corner of the target ! 
Why do we despise a brother because we are nearing 
the goal, while he is doing his best to follow ? Show 
me the man who has always hit and never missed 
the mark, — I mean who has at all times and in all 
things chosen the better part, — and I will look upon 
him with astonishment, as an angel. My God ! keep 
my Christianity in continual exercise ; for exercise 
brings increase, and increase, at last, perfection, — 
not, perhaps, such as will satisfy man, but such as 
will satisfy Thee, my benign and merciful Judge. 




N being shown some silk-worms, kept by a boy in 
a band-box, and fed with mulberry leaves, Gott- 
hold thought with himself: And so it is a 
worm that ministers to men the means of 
luxury and pomp ! I could wish that no rib- 
bon were ever either sold or put on, until such a worm 
were shown and contemplated. Perhaps this might 
lead some to reflect how absurd it is for one worm to 
ornament himself with what another spins, especially 
considering that at last, with all his glory, he must be- 
come the prey of worms. For the rest, the silk-worm 
obeys the instinct which is common to all the caterpil- 
lar tribe. When it has eaten its portion, and lived its 
time, it looks about for some corner in which it may 
lie down, unseen and undisturbed, and die. There it 
immures and envelops itself in its web, and all the 
store which it has gathered, serves no other purpose 
than to make for it a burying-place. Alas, ye children 
of men ! you, too, eat and drink, accumulate fortunes, 
and strain every nerve to become great in the world ; 
but all this issues at last in the necessity of clioosing 
for yourselves a grave. Happy he who, from this insect, 
learns in time to forego temporal things, and bends all 
his thoughts to consider how he may at last die in peace I 



Thou faithful God ! my chief anxiety is for my soul, 
and the best thing I can do for it is to wrap and clothe 
it in the fair white silk of Christ's righteousness/ 
Grant that, like a beautiful butterfly, I may one day 
burst forth, and wing my way to the life eternal. 


/^^XPERIENCE shows that if you pluck a stalk 
^j^j^w of rye, strip it of the blossom, and hold it for a 
U^^^ little in your hand, the blossom will come 
j^S^ again. Conversing with a friend, to whom he 
^ had shown this, and who expressed his sur- 
prise at the fact, and his desire to know the cause. 
Gotthold said : In many things we observe a strong 
vegetative power. From the grain of corn in the 
ground nature elicits a shoot, and pushes it through the 
stiff crust of the earth, and then from the shoot a stalk, 
and from the stalk an ear. In trees there is a pressure 
which moves the sap, and from the solid wood pro- 
duces leaves, and flowers and fruits. In the stock and 
branches of the vine, too, the sap is forced upwards, 

1 Revelation xix. 8. 



and when the pruning has made tlic room to hold it 
insufficient, it flows out, as if the plant were weeping. 
Now, in these ears there is a power of the same kind, 
and of a strength sufficient to renew the blossom, even 
when that has been stripped away. This power others 
may call by what name, and describe in what way, 
they please. I say, that it is the incessantly produc- 
tive goodness of God, which operates always, makes all 
things shoot and grow, and never ceases promoting the 
good of man. 

But what you observe in plants, you ought also to 
experience within yourself; according to the words 
of the apostle : As many as are led by the Spirit 
of God, they are the sons of God.^ In truth, the 
power of God's Spirit is never at rest. It quickens and 
moves continually the hearts of the godly. From it 
proceed all holy thoughts, devout desires, heavenly 
yearnings, longing sighs, affectionate tears, fervent pray- 
ers, and unwearied diligence in the service of God and 
mankind ; as flower succeeds flower in the rye, so does 
one act of devotion, love and joy, another. If you 
have no experience of the kind, learn now from this 
humble stalk that the fault is your own ; either you 
do not mark, or you do not obey, the motions of God's 

Lord Jesus ! what can I do without Thy strength ? 
For what am I fit without Thy Spirit? Unless it 

1 IJom. viii. 14. 



quicken the inward powers of my soul, I am impotent 
alike either to will or to do. Quicken me, then, 
God ! but help me likewise to obey Thy impulse with 


AS SING a field one day, Gotthold observed 
that there were many thistles mixed with the 
wheat, and rivalling it in growth, on which he 
observed : We often see the match of this in 
the world. It happens, for instance, with supe- 
rior minds ; for along with the fine wheat of useful 
counsels and lofty thoughts, they likewise breed and 
foster many a thistle of folly and dangerous error. The 
same thing happens also with our own heart, which, 
when bedevred with the grace and Spirit of God, some- 
times promises to abound with the fruits of righteous- 
ness. But, alas! how many thistles and weeds does 
not the er.emy scatter among these, and how many 
grow of themselves, as in all barren land ? In fine, the 
same is also tlie case with our prosperity and temporal 
welfare. AYhen our wheat is ripest, and we imagine 
that nothing remains but to apply the sickle, and gather 


it in, in full sheaves, we find that the Most High has 
caused thistles to grow amongst it ; I mean. He has 
checkered our prosperous state with much adversity, 
in order that we may recognize the nothingness of the 
world, and long all the sooner, and all the more ar- 
dently, for heaven. 

My God ! in the world there is no wisdom without 
folly, no happiness without misery, no piety without 
sin, no good without evil, and no use without abuse. 
Oh, guide me to the place where Thou Thyself dwellest, 
and where Thou art surrounded with the adorations of 
Thine elect ! There is no evil with Thee. In Thee I 
shall possess all things, for Thou wilt be all in all.^ 


S Gotthold was examining, with delight, some 
double pinks, which at the time were in full 
blossom, he was told by the gardener that the 
same plants had in former years borne only sin- 
gle flowers, but that they had been improved 
and beautified by repeated transplantations, and that in 

1 1 Cor. XV. 28. 


the same manner a change of soil increases the growth, 
and accelerates the bearing of a young tree. 

This reminded Gotthold that the same happens to 
men. Many a man, who at home would scarcely have 
borne even single flowers, when transplanted by Divine 
Providence abroad, bears double ones ; another, who, if 
rooted in his native soil, would never have been more 
than a puny twig, is removed to a foreign clime, and 
there spreads far and wide his luxuriant boughs, and 
bears fruit to the delight of all. In his native place, a 
man is seldom judged of by his real qualities, but 
much oftener by the opinion of his friends or adversa- 
ries. If of high and noble lineage, the lustre of his 
family may easily brighten his darkness, and not sel- 
dom empty bladders swim upon the surface. If, on the 
contrary, he be of humble parentage, and the first or 
second, perhaps, who has shed the light of honors or 
arts upon the family, all the rest, from dislike or fear, 
do their utmost to obscure it, imagining that the more 
one rises, the more must the others fall. At home, ac- 
cordingly, a man is esteemed only as much as love or 
hatred, friendship or enmity, favor or dislike, permit 
him to be. Abroad it is the man himself who is con- 
sidered, and not the coat he wears. Often, too, stran- 
gers are like the gardeners, or flower fanciers, who pre- 
fer beautiful exotics for the ornaments of their beds. 

My God, I thank Thee for ha^dng, so far above all 
my expectations, transplanted me from the place of my 


jiativity to a foreign soil, where, until this hour, Thou 
hast shaded me by Thy grace, and shed on me the dews 
of Thy blessing ! Enable me to bear much fruit unto 
Thee and my neighbor, and, with Jacob, daily to say : 
" I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and 
of all the truth which Thou hast showed unto thy ser- 
vant." ^ 



PARTY of children were amusing themselves 
with a bird, to whose leg they had fastened a 
string. The poor thing fluttered into the air, 
and wished to escape, but felt itself suddenly 
checked and drawn downwards. Gotthold, who 
saw what was passing, thought with himself : It is even 
so with our soul when it gets entangled with temporal 
things and worldly lusts. Good friends, merry com- 
pany, diversions, and meetings of all kinds, are often 
nothing but cords which restrain the heart, and hinder 
it from mounting on the wings of devotion, fervent 
desire, and aspiration, towards heaven. I have often 
been present at an entertainment, and greatly enjoyed 

1 Gen. xxxii. 10. 




it, without observing or suspecting at the time, that 
my heart had Decome attached to some earthly object ; 
but this I afterwards discovered with alarm, when it 
would fain have soared aloft in communion with God. 
Often, too, does one man sport v/ith another, as the 
children are doing with this bird, and, though with 
no bad intention, but rather with a wish to please, 
seriously injure his religious character. 

Happy the man who can cast off these bonds, and 
more and more disengage himself from worldly satis- 
factions ; but oh ! how blessed that soul which seeks its 
peace and joy, pleasure and delight, in God ; tastes a 
few drops of His sweetness, and forgets, in the fruition 
of them, even the lawful pleasures of the world ! 



ONTINUING, Gotthold said : God is a centre 
to the soul ; and, just as in a circle, what is 
nearest the centre is subject to least motion, 
^ so the closer the soul is to God, the less the 
movement and agitation to which it is exposed. 
Make the experiment upon ä level area: sink a staff 



into the ground, attach a line to it, and around it as 
a centre describe a circle of considerable extent ; then 
bid some friend walk round the circle, while you do 
the same round another drawn at a shorter distance 
from the staff. You will find that your friend will 
have to walk long and fast to complete his task, but 
that a few steps will be enough for yours. It is the 
same with the soul. The greater its distance from 
God and spiritual and heavenly things, the wider the 
circuit it will have to make, the faster it will have to 
speed without knowing why, and the more will it seek, 
but be unable to find rest. He, however, who, by de- 
votion and faith, love and resignation, keeps as near as 
possible to God, finds that which his heart desires. 




N an excursion into the country during the hot 
days of summer. Gotthold discovered that the 
r/i) clothes of the party were thickly covered 
Y with dust, which they had not perceived as 
it fell, but which now gave them trouble 
enough to brush and shake off. From this occurrence, 
said he, let us reap a useful admonition on the subject 



of sin and its properties. At the present season, when 
the weather is fine and undisturbed by showers, dust 
is easily raised, and falls plentifully. In like manner it 
is, when flesh and blood enjoy fair weather and sun- 
shine, that sinful lusts are most apt to be excited, and 
drop most thickly in actual sins. 

As dust consists of many minute particles, and falls 
' imperceptibly, so that we scarcely perceive until we 
are bespread with it ; so do many small sins combine 
to form a great one, which is called habit and security, 
and is the nearest stage to hell. 

As dust injures clothes, and sometimes sticks so fast 
that it can by no means be removed from them, and as 
no one likes it, but labors, as we are now doing, to brush 
it off ; even so sin makes us hateful in the sight of God, 
and disreputable in that of men, — so that we ought 
justly to take all pains to purge our conscience and 
amend our life. 

No one who travels in weather like this can escape 
the dust ; and just as little, upon the pilgrimage of 
this transitory life, can any boast of being unsullied by 

In fine, as the dust settles and lies as quietly as if it 
had no existence, but is stirred and raised by the slightest 
breath of wind ; so it sometimes seems as if sin no lon- 
ger dwelt within us, but was vanquished and annihilated, 
and we freed from all restraint to serve God in a pure 
and blameless life. No sooner does opportunity occur, 



than sin makes its appearance, and we discover tliat we 
have much more of the world in our hearts than we 
had ever supposed. 

Alas ! Thou righteous God, how abominahle and de- 
filed in Thy most holy sight are my garments and walk ! 
No doubt, from day to day I brush the dust away ; but 
ah, me ! how little good it does ! my Father ! forgive 
me, and do Thou Thyself cleanse and purge me, grant- 
^ ing grace that my walk may be habitually circumspect, 
and that, at last, I may enter pure and unsullied into 
Thy city. 

. oo^i^Oo 


fSWARM of bees had flown from a neighbor's 
garden into that of Gotthold, and settled on a 
young tree. From this he took occasion to ob- 
serve : These visitors cannot have come over to 
us for nothing, and, if we please to reflect, 
they may give us a useful lesson, and thereby pay for 
their quarters. In my opinion, the device of a swarm 
of bees hanging upon a branch, and with the motto, " I 
will never forsake thee," would happily represent the 
Christian Church and their love to Jesus. The whole 



swarm, as is well known, is governed by a monarch, ex- 
ercising an authority, not of coercion, but love ; and so 
strong is the reciprocal attachment of the little honey 
birds to their prince, that they quit the hive with him, 
and follow and never leave him. When he flies, they 
do the same ; when he alights, they fasten to him ; if 
he remove, they hasten after him ; and if, by some acci- 
dent, his wings be injured, and he fall to the ground, 
they fall upon and cover him, as I have seen with my 
own eyes. 

It is the same with the church of the saints : they 
have one only head, Jesus ; and on Him their whole 
heart is set, and their whole soul depends. Willingly and 
cheerfully they follow whithersoever He leads. Their 
common motto is, " Jesus, I will never leave Thee." 
They are all animated by His Spirit, and governed by 
His love ; their very essence is fellowship with their 
Lord and with each other. Let us therefore endeavor 
to be found in this society. The whole of Christianity 
is comprised in three things — to believe, to love, and 
to obey Jesus. These are things, however, which we 
must be learning all our life. 

Alas, Jesus ! when shall my love to Thee equal that 
of the bees to tlieir king I Ask of me the question 
once asked of Peter, ^ and I must needs answer Thee 
with sorrow and tears ; for my heart bears witness that 
my love is still so weak as scarcely to deserve the name. 

1 John xxi, 26. 



I love Thee, it is true ; but what am I to Thee, or what 
proportion does my love bear to Thy deserts ? I have 
but one consolation, that the will is here. When I say, 
" I love Thee," I say it with sorrow and tears ; but 
when I say, " I would that I loved Thee with all my 
heart, and soul, and strength," I say it with joy and 
confidence, for I say it with truth. Dearest Saviour ! 
pierce my heart with the fiery darts of Thy love ; force 
Thy way into its inmost chambers ; sink into the depths 
of my soul, and let both heart and soul blaze and swell 
with love to Thee. 

oo >€)<oo 


T T H L D, seeing some withered flowers 
strewed upon the table, thought with himself : 
Like these are the pleasures and pomps of this 
world, which quickly pass away, and have no 
stability ! On further reflection, it seemed to 
him that such a flower might also image forth a heart 
exhausted with sorrow and care, and he exclaimed : 
Alas! how many withered and aching hearts there 
are in these disastrous times ! How many pious Chris- 



tians, who can scarcely stand erect for sorrow, but 
hang the head like drooping flowers! How many 
thousand thousand tears are daily shed over afflicted 
Christendom! How many anxious sighs are wafted to 
God in heaven ! And yet the wicked world, secure 
and reckless, gives no heed to them, but wrongs the 
poor children of God, and laughs the while, yea crushes 
and vexes the hearts of Christians without remorse. 
But as the vapors which ascend from the earth, descend 
to it again in rain and wind, thunder and lightning, 
even so the mournful sighs and Wallings of the godly 
will one day turn into fire and brimstone, and fall 
upon the heads of their enemies. Meanwhile, ye 
whose hearts are sad and heavy, moderate your grief, 
and be not too greatlj troubled. God in heaven at- 
tends to your tears and lamentations. The whole 
creation sighs in concert with you. Methinks I see 
the holy angels weeping for all the grief and anguish, 
wrongs and miseries, with which your hearts are over- 
wiielmed. But God will help. He will not leave the 
righteous to suffer for ever. Lift up your hanging 
head, and know that your salvation draweth nigh. 
Shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day 
and night unto Him, though He bear long with them ? 
I tell you that He will avenge them speedily.^ 0, my 
God! comfort all sorrowful and troubled hearts, and 
then mine will not be forgotten. 

1 Luke xvii. 7, 8. 




TANDING one day before a beehive, Gotthold 
observed with delight how the little honey birds 
departed and arrived, and from time to time re- 
turned home laden with the spoils of the flow- 
ers. Meanwhile a great yellow hornet — tliat 
wolf among the bees — came buzzing up, in eager 
quest of a prey. As it was eveningtide, and the bees, 
after the heat of the day, had settled about the mouth 
of the hive to breathe the cool air, it was amusing to 
observe that their fierce adversary lacked courage to 
attack their combined host and serried ranks. True, 
he often advanced for the purpose ; but, seeing how 
densely and compactly they were sitting, was forced to 
retreat empty-handed. At last, a bee, somewhat be- 
lated, arrived by itself, and on this straggler he instantly 
seized, fell with it to the earth, and dealt with it at his 
pleasure. Gotthold thought with himself : How excel- 
lent a thing is unity and concord 1 If this little bee, 
which had probably ventured further, and for that rea- 
son reached home later than the rest, had formed one 
of the united swarm, it would not have fallen into the 
enemy's hands. How comes it, then, that we men reflect 
so little upon the danger of discord ? Never are the 
assaults of our spiritual foe so successful as when he 



finds US disunited by variance and envy. Behold how 
good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell to- 
gether in unity Help us, Lord Jesus, to have the 
same love, and to be of one accord, of one mind, en- 
deavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond 
of peace,^ that the God of love and of peace may be 
with us,^ and that the infernal robber may gain no ad- 
vantage over us. 


^HE majority of Christians, proceeded Gotthold, 
resemble the stock which strikes from below the 

graft, wastes its sap upon wild branches, and 
permits the adopted ones to wither. They 
point their thoughts chiefly to earthly things, 
which efface Christ and heaven from their memories. 
The love of temporal possessions, luxury, pomp of 
dress, science, art, falsehood, enmity, hypocrisy, and 
other such things, shoot and grow and gather strength 
from day to day, as any one may see who but looks 
upon recent times. Godliness, on the contrary, so far 

1 Psalm cxxxiii. 1. 2 Phii. ü. 2, and Eph. iv. 3. 3 2 Cor. xiii. 11. 



from increasing, gradually declines. The Lord Jesus, 
with His precious merits, saving Gospel, and holy and 
harmless life, is torn and uprooted from the heart, and 
no longer held in esteem.^ But sorrow and woe be to 
the Christian in whose heart Christ does not take root 
and grow, flourish, and bear fruit ! As a barren and 
corrupt tree, he has nothing to expect but the axe of 
the Divine wrath, and the fire that is not quenched.^ 

Lord Jesus ! cleave my heart with Thy law ; engraft 
Thyself deep into it by faith ; bind it fast to Thee by 
love ; govern and change it by Thy Spirit and grace ; 
and keep it by Thy power unto holy fruitfulness here, 
and eternal blessedness hereafter. 


CIj^ Sun. 

N a company of pious persons the sun happened 
to become the subject of conversation, when one 
'^^ of them observed : Day by day God maketh His 
sun to rise on the evil and on the good.^ But, 
alas ! the evil regard it as little as do the brutes, 
and even th^ good are far from giving it the attention 

1 Dan. ix. 26. 2 Matt. iii. 10. 3 Matt. v. 45. 



it deserves. Of those who live beneath the sun, how 
few there are whom the sight of this most glorious orb 
incites to the praise and love of its Almighty Creator ! 
Seneca tells us of a voluptuary, who for a long course 
of years had never seen either its rising or its setting ; 
for in the evening, when it set, his eyes were already 
closed with wine, and in the morning, when it rose, he 
had not slept out his sleep. This person, methinks, 
might have found many a match in our own days, and 
even among those who bear the Christian name. And 
yet, how noble a miracle of the omnipotence, goodness, 
and wisdom of God, is the sun, and how immense a 
blessing to mankind and the whole visible creation ! 
In this light the Saviour .presents it to us in the words 
above quoted, designating it, not without cause, " His 
Sun." Gotthold thereupon remarked : You have said 
what is true, but permit me to add : The almighty, be- 
nign, and wise Creator, has in this marvellous orb 
stamped a magnificent image of Himself. As a philos- 
opher once observed, the sun is a visible Deity, and the 
Deity a visible sun. Viewed tln^ough a powerful tele- 
scope, it appears like a vast and ever-heaving ocean of 
ascending vapors, or like molten brass boiling in vast 
caldrons, and emitting smoke mingled with light and 
fire. It is hence inferred that it is not merely the 
source of natural light, but likewise the origin of all 
prolific power, and, so to speak, the heart of nature and 
the soul of the world. And mark, such also is our 



God. He is a fountain forever overflowing with good, 
and good alone, — a delectable fire, forever burning, — 
a charming light, forever shining, — an ever-living, 
ever-active and prolific Being, from whom all things 
originally derive existence. 


E T us, however, further reflect, that God's chil- 
dren ought likewise to be His followers, and so, 
mortal deities and suns upon the earth. The 
compassion of the Lord is new every morning.^ 
Every morning does the sun rise, and rejoice 
to run his course ; and with the same daily regularity 
ought the child of God to renew his purpose of minis- 
tering advice and succor to all about him ; and, after 
the manner of his God, have more readiness to give 
than another to receive. It is impossible for the sun to 
be without light, and quite as impossible for a true 
Christian co be destitute of love, gentleness, alacrity to 
serve, and the desire to do good. 

Lord Jesus ! Thou art the sun and joy of my heart. 
If there be in me any light, ability, readiness of will. 

1 Lr,m iii 23. 



it is all from Thee. As God sheds His light, and exerts 
His influence through the sun, so dost Thou through 
me. I lay claim to no goodness of my own ; but im- 
plore of Thee mercifully to forgive me for so often ob- 
structing Thine, and darkening Thy light with my 



(C?AvNE day Gotthold saw a nettle growing in a flower 
QU) 11 border, and, on attempting to pull it up, found 
(O^/T) that he brought with it a quantity of the soil, 
^^^y of which, with its many roots and fibres, it 
had taken a firm hold. It is the same, he 
inwardly thought, with our conversion. Where God 
would extirpate the plant of sin from our hearts, alas ! 
how strong the hold it has taken ! and with how many 
roots of evil concupiscence it has fastened and entwined 
itself on every side ! The consequence is inevitable — 
part of the heart must come with it ; by which I mean, 
that it cannot be torn up without pain, anguish, and 
sorrow. But what does that matter? Weeds which 
are only ronioved from tlio suiface. shoot again; and 
unless they are thoroughly extirpated, it is not safe to 



plant flowers or herbs in their place. Yain, therefore, 
is the attempt to make ourselves good by a forced and 
unsteady resolution, while we retain the love of evil in 
our breast ; for that is only waiting a favorable season 
and opportunity to shoot afresh. 

My God ! do Thou Thyself extirpate the root of bit- 
terness from my heart ! Use any means which seems 
good in Thy sight for this purpose ; it may wound the 
sinful flesh, but better temporal than eternal pain. 



fEING in a garden, Gotthold was shown some 
blue and yellow violets which were bearing 
, double flowers, and were therefore regarded 
as something rare. He remarked, however, 
that in proportion as they had gained in show, 
they had lost in fragrance, as compared with the single, 
and began: How comes it to pass that generally the 
most showy and pompous plants are surpassed in other 
qualities by the more humble and unpretending ? The 
roses, which, on account of their numerous petals, are 
called centifoils, are no doubt beautiful to the eye, but^ 



are excelled in fragrance by those which have much 
fewer. Some prefer the water obtained from the wild 
rose to that which is distilled from the best of the cen- 
tifoils ; and every one knows that the proud imperial 
crown and gaudy tulip are far less fragrant than the 
violet, and many of its sister plants that creep upon 
t]ie ground. The same rule obtains among men. 
Where there is much show, there is never much 
power ; where great consequence in the world's eyes, 
very little in God's. Nay (and this I would not dare 
to affirm, were it not declared by Him whom no man 
may gainsay), that which is highly esteemed among 
men, is abomination in the sight of God.^ Those men 
who are great and eminent for their learning and wis- 
dom, their superior talents, vast fortunes, and lofty 
honors, are too often, like these double flowers, des- 
titute of the fragrance of godliness, and the strength 
of love. For not many wise men after the flesh, not 
many mighty, not many noble are called ; but the fool- 
ish, and base, and despised things of this world, are 
those which God hath chosen.^ How comes it, then, 
that we are all so anxious to be great, and rich, and 
honorable, though God is pleased to show forth His 
power in the meek, and poor, and humble ? Better 
be humble and bear much fruit, than exalted and 
bear none. My God, I ask not of Thee the leaves 
of external consequence ; I will be content to con- 

1 Luke XV. 16, 2 l Cor. i. 26. 




tiiiue simple, lowly, and piain, if Thou wilt only give 
me grace to serve Thee and my neighbor. Outward 
pomp withers like a flower, but inward worth lasts even 
after death. 



TROLLING along the banks of a pond, Gott- 
hold observed a pike basking in the sun, and so 
pleased w4th the sweet and soothing rays as to 
forget itself and the danger to which it was ex- 
posed. Thereupon a boy approached, and with 
a snare formed of horse hair, and fastened to the end 
of a rod, which he skilfully cast over its head, pulled 
it in an instant out of the water. Ah, me ! said Gott- 
hold, with a deep sigh, how evidently do I here behold 
shadowed forth the danger of my poor soul 1 Wlien 
the beams of temporal prosperity play upon us to our 
heart's desire, so grateful are they to corrupt flesh and 
blood, that, immersed in sordid pleasure, luxury, and 
security, we lose all sense of spiritual danger, and all 
thought of eternity. Li this state many are, in fact, 
suddenly snatched away, to the eternal ruin of their 




0, my God ! vouchsafe to me Thy grace, that I may 
learn to rejoice as though I rejoiced not, and buy as 
though I possessed not, and use this world as not abus- 
ing it, for the fashion of this world passeth away.^ In 
the midst of pleasures and enjoyments, let me still feel, 
like the Psalmist, that the best of all is to draw near 
unto Thee ;^ and may I never forget Thy fear. Break, 
also, the snares with which Satan endeavors to make a 
prey of my soul, but which, in my misery, I cannot 
see ; and for this I shall laud and praise Thee in 


T SITING a person who was in deep affliction 
and sorrow. Gotthold was told by the family 
Jko that he was in the garden. Thither he followed, 
and found him employed in clearing a vine of 
^ its superfluous leaves. After a friendly salute, 
he inquired what he was doing. " I find," was the re- 
ply, " that, owing to the abundant rain, this vine is 
overgrown with wood and leaves, which prevents the 

1 1 Cor. vii. 80, 31. Psalm Ixxiii. 28. 



sun from reacliing and ripening the grapes. I am 
therefore pruning part of them away, that it may bring 
its fruit to maturity." Gotthold rejoined : And do you 
find that in this operation the vine resists and opposes 
you ? If not, why are you displeased that a gracious 
God should do to you what your vine must not be dis- 
pleased that you do to it ? You prune off the superflu- 
ous foliage in order that it may bear the better fruit ; 
and God takes away your temporal blessings and 
earthly comforts, in order that faith may produce its 
noble fruits of love, humility, patience, hope, and 
prayer, and these larger, and fairer, and sweeter than 
before. Let them talk as they please : When a man 
has a superfluity of all things, and is a total stranger 
to the cross, the Sun of Righteousness, with its gracious 
rays, can scarcely reach the heart ; and hence his Chris- 
tianity usually bears only the harsh and acrid fruits of 
hypocrisy, pride, unkindness, and implacability. Let 
God, therefore, do with you as He will ; He w^ill do you 
no harm. You are now stripping the vine of its leaves ; 
in spring you hoed it, planted layers, pruned the suck- 
ers, and bound the branches. My friend, you are your- 
self a branch on the spiritual Vine, which is the Lord 
Jesus. God is the dresser, and He well knows that, 
without His grace and care, He can look for no good at 
your hands. This is the reason why He employs con- 
tempt to lay you in the earth, trials to prune, affliction 
to restrain, and poverty to strip you of your leaves. 



He intends it all to make His grace sweeter to you, and 
your heart sweeter to Him. 

my God ! withdraw not from me Thy care, other- 
wise I shall grow wild and corrupt. Prune, bind, and 
strip me as Thou wilt ; my comfort shall be, that Thou 
canst never mean it for evil. 


T T H L D was present where a party of 
friends were amusing themselves with an artifi- 
cially-cut glass, which concentrated the rays 

^^1^5^ of the sun, and so not only exploded powder, 
but kindled straw, and even cloth and hardwood. Let 
this, said he, remind us, for our good, of opportunity to 
sin ; for that is a means by which many a cold log (I 
mean heart) has been set on fire and excited to its ruin. 
Our eyes, which in many respects resemble this instru- 
ment, are sometimes justly called the heart's burning- 
glass, because they catch the opportunities to sin, and 
thereby infect the heart, and give occasion to carry vi- 
cious inclinations into effect. This was the case even 
in Paradise. For the woman saw that the tree was good 
for food, and pleasant to the eyes ; and she took of the 



fruit thereof, and did cat.^ The same thing likewise 
happened to King David when he beheld Bathsheba in 
the bath : ^ and if the wife of Potiphar had closed these 
windows, passion would never have gained the mastery 
in her breast.^ If, therefore, you would avoid sin, avoid 
all opportunities of committing it ; and as this glass 
cannot burn unless it be kept still and motionless, so 
the moment you find your eyes fixed on an opportunity 
of sinning, recollect the danger to which your heart is 
exposed, and escape with the utmost speed from the 
ruin threatening your soul. 

My God ! take me under Thy protection, and grant 
that my eyes may never lust, and so may never mislead 
my heart, nor set it on fire with sinful passion. 


Cfj^ drafts. 

NSPECTING some young grafts on the stock of 
a fruit tree, which were shown him by a friend, 
and which had grown with extraordinary vigor, 
and reached in a short time to a great height, 
Gotthold observed : This also is one of the 
miracles of nature, which we have daily before our 

1 Gen. iii. 6. 

2 2 Sam. xi. 2. 

3 Gen. xxxix. 7. 



eyes, but seldom contemplate or improve to our edifica- 
tion. A wild stock has all its branches pruned away, 
and is hewn down to a span's length. It is then split, 
has foreign shoots inserted into it, and is afterwards 
bound ; and not only does it adopt the strange shoots, 
and nourish them with its sap and vigor, but even per- 
mits them to gain the mastery so far as to make it for- 
get its wildness, and bear beautiful and delicious fruit. 
Now, I say that of that fruit we are not worthy to taste, 
if we do not here gratefully acknowledge the marvel- 
lous goodness of God, and take occasion to draw some 
reflections that may make us better Christians. Our 
heart is a wild and untamed stock, which God plants in 
the garden of his Church, hews down, and, by repen- 
tance, reduces to despair of its own faculties and pow- 
ers. He then engrafts into it Christ Jesus, his beloved 
son — that noble Branch from the root of Jesse,^ that 
through Him we may be filled with the fruits of right- 
eousness,^ and called trees of righteousness, the plant- 
ing of the Lord, that He may by glorified.^ Let us 
therefore see well to it, that neither presumptuous sins, 
nor the temptations of Satan or the world, be ever per- 
mitted to break off or uproot this noble shoot from our 
hearts. Let us, by diligent reflection and self-examina- 
tion, ascertain that Christianity is growing within us, — 
in other words, that our faith, charity, patience, and 
godliness, are on the increase. 

I Isaiah xi. 1. 

2 Phil. i. 11. 

3 Isaiah Ixi. 8. 




GOOD man had died in the bloom of life, leav> 
ing behind him several infant children. The 
plentiful tears of the widow went deep into 
Gotthold's heart, nor less the simple sorrow of 
the orphans, who were all the more objects of 
pity that they did not understand the cause they had 
to weep. He too sighed, and, with tears in his eyes, 
exclaimed : Thou marvellous God ! how contrary are 
Thy doings to what seem good to ns ! Is not this dis- 
consolate widow like a vine whose prop the wind has 
taken away and levelled with the earth ? What better 
is her household than a low hedge, which every one 
will think himself at liberty to overstep ? What else 
the young orphans but flowers growing in the wild for- 
est, and on which all the beasts will trample ? But 
pardon me, Thou faithful God ! that, from tender com- 
passion to these disconsolate mourners, I venture to 
speak thus boldly with Thee. Thou must respect Thy 
name, and have opportunity to show that Thou art the 
Father of the fatherless, and the Judge of the widows.^ 
Show it then, here. Thy counsel is always best. The 
gardener does not scruple to hew down the old tree, 

1 Psalm Ixviii. 5. 



that the young ones growing around, but which were 
previously injured by its shade, may have room to 
thrive. Even so the life of parents would often prove 
their children's ruin. But when the shade is removed, 
there is nothing save the open heaven above their 
heads ; and so they learn to fear, and to put their trust 
in Thee, and from Thee alone to expect blessing, pro- 
tection, and defence. Heavenly Father ! Thou wilt, no 
doubt, do more for these orphans than their earthly pa- 
rent, with all his affection, could ever have accom- 
plished. Yes, my God, in them, and in their much 
afflicted mother, glorify now Thy name ! 


T fairs, said Gotthold, all sorts of wares, even 
men and their souls, are exposed for sale. Nay, 
what is of all things the most strange, there are 
many who will sell their souls for less than they 
will any other commodity. The traitor Judas 
consented to sell his Lord and Master for thirty pieces 
of silver. Rightly viewed, it was his own soul which 
he sold ; and, compared with the present world, the 



price which the miserable man obtained was not incon- 
siderable. For, as I believe, there are many who, to 
gain or put into their purse thirty pieces of silver, 
would, if it were possible, sell their souls thirty times 
over. If you doubt this, reflect that as often as a man 
possesses himself of any object by unjust and ungodly 
means, he burdens his conscience, sins against his God, 
and, as far as he can, virtually sells his poor soul for 
base lucre. Miserable creatures that we are ! how 
comes it to pass that in worldly traffic we weigh and 
measure so correctly, and show ourselves so shrewd 
and prudent, but never think of weighing temporal 
things with eternal, or measuring transitory gains with 
everlasting losses, and in matters which concern our 
salvation, are as stupid as the brutes ? Were I to ask 
an unrighteous man to sell his heart, he would instantly 
reply in the negative ; and though I were to offer for it 
a hundred thousand ducats, he would still insist that 
he was not so great a fool as to part with his heart for 
money, inasmuch as, without a heart, he could not live, 
and without life money would be useless. 0, fellow- 
man ! if temporal life be too precious to be sold for 
gold, why for gold do you part with your soul and life 
eternal ? Why do you reckon that so worthless which 
appears to God of such inestimable value, that He con- 
sented to redeem it with the blood of His only and 
well-beloved Son ? I, for my part, agree with the holy 
apostle, who says : Godliness, with contentment, is great 


gain : for we brought nothing into this world, and it is 
certain we can carry nothing out ; and having food and 
raiment, let us therewith be content. ' 


EAYENLY Father, proceeded Gotthold, Thy 
prophet declares that blessed is the man tha.t 
considereth the poor.^ One would imagine that 
little consideration is necessary, when we see 
before us the sufferer's misery. The world 
rushes past, and thinks. Who knows what a vagabond 
he is ? Who knows but he has brought all this wretch- 
edness upon his own head ? I, however, know that the 
great and mighty have sometimes disguised themselves 
in mean attire, in order to discover the true character 
of their dependents ; I know, too, that my Sovereign, 
Jesus, conceals himself beneath the beggar's cloak, 
that He may put my heart to the test, and ascertain 
whether He or money is dearer to it. No, no, my 
Saviour, Thou must not thus pass me by ; disguise 
Thyself as Thou wilt, I still recognize Thee. I thank 
Thee for having now deemed me worthy to knock at 
my door, and apply to me for relief. I will take to 

1 Pealm xli. 2. 



heart the penury of this forsaken beggar, and relieve 
him to the utmost of my means. Ah, my Saviour ! 
vouchsafe to me not only to do, but also to will;^ and 
grant that my poor doing and willing may be merci- 
fully accepted of Thee. This time it is Thou who 
comest* before my door ; ere long it will be my turn 
to knock at Thine. Oh, never let me find the door of 
mercy or heaven shut against me ! 


ETURNING from the fields, a party of labor- 
ers one evening seated themselves beside a little 
brook, and not only drank of its fresh and 
cooling water, but used it to wash off the 
sweat and dust from their persons. Gotthold, 
seeing them as he passed, thought with himself : My 
God, how sweet and pleasant to me is the pure stream 
of Thy goodness, which this brook adumbrates to my 
view ! However circumspect I may suppose my walk 
during the day to have been, I yet cannot wholly avoid 
contracting various defilements ; and these I always 
see best when evening brings leisure for meditation, 
and I examine what the work of the day has been. 

1 Phil. ii. 13. 



But the stream of Thy heart-refreshing grace is then 
my resort. In it I wash and cleanse away my sins, 
and find solace and refreshment for my weary soul. 
And as this brook not merely washes off impurities, 
but overwhelms them, so that they can no longer be 
found, even so Thy divine mercy, and the stream of 
my Saviour's blood, not only purge away, but extin- 
guish my sins, sweeping them into the depths of the 
sea, where through all eternity they shall be remem- 
bered no more. 

Lord Jesus, Thou fountain of life ! Thy grace is my 
consolation, Thy overflowing goodness fresh water to 
my troubled heart. Would that I had as many tongues 
as there are drops in this stream ! Their only work 
should be to extol Thine incomprehensible love and 



§atr Crop. 

•WING to the severe drought, and long want of 
rain, the crop (in 1661) was very deficient, es- 
pecially in the early kinds of grain ; the 
greater part of which, being scarce half a 
span in length, could not be mown, and, hav- 
ing been scorched and destroyed, was besides cornless. 



This gave rise to general complaints, both among town 
and country people, so that two men rarely met with- 
out manifesting their despondencj^ and expressing 
themselves in most unbecoming terms. Gotthold 
thereupon observed: I am now sensible of the truth 
of the proverb, which says, that if God were to be 
so complacent as to carry us on His back to Rome, 
we would not thank Him for His pains, if He did 
not also set us down upon an easy-chair. How comes 
it to pass that, in the present dearth, there are so few 
who thankfully reflect upon the rich and plentiful sea- 
sons of which we have had so long a succession ? I 
cannot recollect of having then heard nearly so much 
praise and thanksgiving for the abundance of the Di- 
vine blessing, as I now hear complaints on accomit 
of its deficiency. It really is a serious fault to reckon 
the blessings of God so small, and His punishments 
so great and so far above our deserts ; whereas it is 
His goodness and our sins which exceed all weight 
and number, while His punishments and our deserts 
are exceedingly small. Only compute, I beseech you, 
and you will soon find that the abundance of former 
seasons would have more than sufficed to compensate 
for the deficiency of the present, if we had only dealt 
prudently, and not squandered it with so lavish a hand. 
Weigh, likewise, the magnitude of our sin and guilt on 
the one hand, and God's right and power to punish us 
on the other ; and who can deny that, were He to cause 



the harvest to misgive, and the grain to wither, not only 
for one, but every season, thus leaving us to pine for 
hunger, so far from wronging, He would only treat us 
as we have justly merited. Let us also reflect, for our 
comfort, that it is no difficult matter for Almighty God, 
who pardons the sins of the penitent, also to swell the 
little stores of the faithful, and even in the midst of 
dearth to satisfy them abundantly. my God, Thou 
kind and gracious Master ! give me, above all things, a 
heart easily contented, and able either to be poor or to 
be hungry, to abound or to suffer need. 


N the garden of a man of rank, Gotthold was 
shown a young orange tree bearing fruit, part of 
^r, which was almost ripe, and part still small and 
green. He was told that in warm countries, sucli 
as Spain and Italy, where it attains to its full 
height and perfection, the orange tree is found, so to 
speak, continually serving man ; inasmuch as, at one 
and the sam-e time, ripe fi-uit, and half-ripe fruit, and 


173 i 

even blossom, may all be seen upon it. He thereupon j 

replied : It would be the same with our common apple ^ 

and pear trees, were it not for the severity of the cold I 

in winter. In spring, when they burst the bud, and \ 
are gradually adorned by nature with leaves and flow- 
ers and fruit, you may already discover the leaf and 
fruit buds with which they intend to gain our love and 

admiration in the year to come. In harvest, too, when ; 

the foliage drops off, these remain as the hope of the \ 

following summer, and can be recognized and distin- ; 

guished by the skilful gardener. From the inanimate \ 

creatures let us learn our duty. Nature continues in \ 

incessant action ; and having once received from her j 

omnipotent Creator the command to minister to man j 

with her fertility, she never pauses, but works, germi- j 

nates, and produces in succession, leaves, flowers, and i 

fruits, to the utmost of her ability. And why should ' 

not we do the same, seeing that God has not only made i 

and planted, but even watered us with the blood and ] 

Spirit of His dear Son, to the end that we may bear < 

fruits of love and gratitude both to Him and our neigh- • 

bor ? There can be no doubt that in all the plants of ' 

righteousness which He has planted there is an ever- ; 

active, forcing, and prolific power ; for, in the remark- ; 

able words of the apostle, As many as are led by the | 

Spirit of God, they are the sons of God ;^ and again, ; 

The love of Christ constraineth us.^ When they have '\ 

1 Eom. vüi. 14 2 2 Cor. v. 14. i 



performed one work of love, or borne one fruit of right* 
eousness to the glory of God and the service of the 
brethren, they are already in spirit bearing fresh blos- 
soms and pondering on others. Be it summer or win- 
ter, never do you find them without good fruit, or at 
least never without blossoms, leaves, and fruit-buds ; 
by which I mean, holy and sincere desires and resolu- 
tions to advance God's glory, and be serviceable to 
mankind. They are partakers of the Divine nature,^ 
and have the spirit and the mind of Christ.^ 

Jesus, my Lord ! without Thee we can do nothing. 
Abide Thou in me, and I in Thee,^ and then never shall 
I want either fruitfulness or fruit. 


APPENING one day to pass a house, from 
Ij^l which war and pestilence had swept away the 
inmates, whose roof and partitions had after- 
wards fallen, and which was now tottering to 
its ruin : Here, said Gotthold, we behold the 
fruits of our sins, which are what empty cities of their 
populations, and houses of their inhabitants.'' And it 

1 2 Peter i. 6. 

2 1 Cor. ii. 16. 

3 John XV. 5. 

4 Isaiah vi. 11. 


is no wonder that God chases and expels us from our 
mansions, when we refuse to have Him for our fellow- 
lodger, and make screens of our walls, behind which to 
sin, as we fancy, in security. The spectacle of this 
house, forsaken by man, and falling into ruin, shall 
now remind me of the wretchedness of that soul which, 
persevering in a course of sin and impenitence, God in 
righteous judgment forsakes. It is the haunt of the 
foul birds of night and hell, which fly in and out at 
their pleasure. All about it is crumbling to pieces, 
and preparing for everlasting destruction. The worst 
punishment which can be inflicted upon man in this 
present life, is when God withdraws from him the hand 
of grace, gives him up to a reprobate mind, and per- 
mits him to walk accordhig to the inclinations of his 
wicked heart. In that case, Satan has gained the game, 
and bridles and saddles the steed to ride it at his pleas- 
ure. The man becomes a ball, which the devils toss 
from hand to liand, and plunge out of one sin into 
another. His mind is a forge, in which infernal spirits 
manufacture the works and weapons of darkness. I 
now understand what is meant when the Lord our God 
exclaims : Woe to them when I depart from them.^ 
And again : I have taken away my peace from this peo- 
ple, even loving-kindness and mercies.^ There is, how- 
ever, a difference between this house and a profligate 
given over to the power of hell : the one exhibits its 

1 Uosea ix. 12. 2 Jeremiali xvi. 5. 




miserable condition to the view of all who pass, whereas 
the spiritual wretchedness and ruin of the other are 
often disguised by temporal prosperity, and the success 
of his licentious projects. The danger is, however, all 
the greater, the more it escapes the notice both of him- 
self and others. 

Leave me not, then, neither forsake me, God of my 
salvation ! ^ Cast me not away from Thy presence, and 
take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.^ Let me not have 
my own will ; withdraw not from me Thy watchful care. 
Let my soul continue at all times the habitation of Thy 
Spirit. I would rather be deserted by the world, by 
health, by honor, by pleasure, by earthly blessings, by 
friends, by all, than by Thee and Thy grace. 



HAT think you of our need of the Lord 
Jesus ? said Gotthold. For my part, my soul 
is like a hungry and thirsty child, and I need 
His love and consolations for my refreshment ; 
I am a wandering and lost sheep, and I need 
Him as a good and faithful Shepherd ; my soul is like a 

1 Psalm xxvii. 9. 2 Psalm li. 11. 



frightened dove pursued by the hawk, and I need His 
wounds for a refuge ; I am a feeble vine, and I need 
His cross to lay liold of and wind myself about ; I am 
a sinner, and I need His righteousness ; I am naked and 
bare, and need His holiness and innocence for a cover- 
ing ; I am in trouble and alarm, and I need His solace ; 
I am ignorant, and I need His teaching ; simple and 
foolish, and I need the guidance of His Holy Spirit. 
Li no situation, and at no time, can I do without Him. 
Do I pray ? He must prompt and intercede for me. 
xVm I arraigned by Satan at the Divine tribunal ? He 
must be my Advocate. Am I in affliction ? He must 
be my helper. Am I persecuted by the world ? He 
must defend me. When I am forsaken, He must be 
my support ; when dying, my life ; when mouldering in 
the grave, my resurrection. Well, then, I will rather 
part with all the world, and all that it contains, than 
with Thee, my Saviour ; and, God be thanked I I know 
that Thou, too, art neither able nor willing to do without 
me. Thou art rich, and I am poor ; Tliou hast abun- 
dance, and I am needy ; Thou hast righteousness, and 
I sins ; Thou hast wine and oil, and I wounds ; Thou 
hast cordials and refreshments, and I hunger and thirst. 
Use me then, my Saviour, for whatever purpose and in 
whatever way Thou mayest require. Here is my poor 
heart, an empty vessel ; fill it with Thy grace. Here is 
my sinful and troubled soul ; quicken and refresh it 
with Thy love. Take my heart for Thine abode ; my 



moutli, to spread the glory of Thy name ; my love, and 
all my powers, for the advancement of Thy honor and 
the service of Thy believing people. And never suffer 
the steadfastness and confidence of my faith to abate, 
that so at all times I may be enabled from the heart to 
say : Jesus needs me, and I Him ; and so we suit each 



COSTLY pearl necklace, just purchased for a 
young lady, was shown to Gotthold, and led 
him to say : In these days little attention is 
paid to the admonition of the holy apostle, 
who requires that women adorn themselves in 
modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety ; 
not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly 
array No female now abstains from wearing pearls, 
but she who has neither pearls to wear, nor money to 
buy them. And, considering the natural love of the 
sex for ornament, this might be allowed, under the con- 
dition that no lady should be entitled to wear pearls 
unless she could either make or take from them a sub- 
ject of holy meditation. For example : the pearl, as 

X 1 Timothy ii. 9. 



most naturalists inform us, is the product of the dew of 
heaven ; for, when the oyster sees the weather bright 
and clear, it is said to open its shells at the early dawn, 
while the dew is falHng, and greedily to drink in t!ie 
silver drops, which petrify within it, and af:orwards, by 
their white and snowy lustre, betray their celestial ori- 
gin. In the same way ought our hearts to be eager 
and open to imbibe the dew of heavenly grace, vrlien it 
drops at the preachuig of the word. 



tROCEEDING, Gotthold remarked: I cannot 
recollect having ever heard of any pious lady, 
whether old or young, who, at her departure 
from this world, cared to have her pearls and 
other ornaments about her. On the contrary, 
we read of a princess, wlio, on her death-bed, expressed 
her contempt for them, exclaiming, Avv'ay with such 
trash ! and do Thou, Christ Jesus, adorn my foal 
with Thy royal robes ! Provide yourselves, therefore, 
with such pearls as may strengthen your soul at death, 
and adorn it in the sight of Jesus. 

As pearls are strung upon a thread, and hung for 



ornament about the neck, so ought the Christian to 
string upon his memory those precious texts of Scrip- 
ture, which contain the kernel, sap, and strength of 
heavenly wisdom, that he may have them ready for use, 
both in life and death. 

Above all, every time you decorate yourself with 
tliese bright and glistening jewels, remember that your 
soul ought to wear a similar ornament of virtue, godli- 
ness, and good beha\dor ; otherwise the pearls will be 
ashamed of the vile object they are compelled to adorn. 

My God ! my pearls shall be my tears. Give me 
grace to shed them for sorrow at my sin, for joy at Thy 
goodness, and for desire after Thy heavenly felicity, and 
I shall ask for no other pearls. 

— — 00^0« 


DRINK was brought to Gotthold which tasted 
of the vessel in which it had been contained, 
Vr^^^ and this led liim to observe : We have here an 
\^;>":1C>'^ emblem of our thou2rhts, words, and works. 

^ Our heart is defiled by sin, and hence a tarnt 
of sinfal'ioss cleaves u!ifortun:ito]y to everything we 
take in hand ; and aithougli, irom tlio force of habit, 



this may be imperceptible to us, it does not escape the 
eye of the omniscient, holy, and righteous God. yes, 
replied a pious man, who heard the observation, our 
wicked and ungodly hearts give us mucli to do. By 
the mouth of the prophet,^ God exhorts us : Wash 
thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be 
saved ; and, in compliance with the exhortation, I 
have for many years been occupied washing the un- 
clean vessel with fervent prayers, floods of tears, con- 
stant struggles, new resolutions, and diligent attention 
and study of the Divine Word. Hitherto, however, 
I can find no trace of any good having been done. 
The stains are here and there so deeply fixed, that no 
washing avails to purge them out ; and this often sinks 
me into despondency, and makes me imagine that my 
Christianity is not worth a straw. One main reason, 
rejoined Gotthold, why God* does not, in this present 
life, wholly cleanse the heart, and deliver it from origi- 
nal sin, is, that we may be preserved from pride, and, 
like weak and thirsty children, continually cling to the 
grace and wounds of the Lord Jesus. We must not 
on that account, however, despair of our Christianity, 
or suppose that, because it does not please ourselves, it 
is also displeasing to God. God is a most affectionate 
Father ; and being aware that, in this world, His cliil- 
dren will never be without weaknesses and sins. He 
exercises patience with them. Then, opening a work 

1 Jeremiah iv. 14. 



of Tauler, he read the following passage : Lord, Thou 
seest to the bottom of all hearts, and understandest all 
tlioughts. Thou knowest well how willingly I would 
give back into Thy hands a pure and heavenly soul. 
All I have, however, is this foul vessel, full of filth 
and temptation : such as it is, I offer it to Thee. If 
it were better, to Thee I would still give it. All I 
ask is, that Thou wouldst wash it with Thy pure blood, 
and so make it meet to receive Thy holy influence. 



% strange Btvi. 

N another occasion. Gotthold remarked that the 
world is like a great ocean, on which, strange to 
say, most of the mariners suffer shipwreck in 
calm and pleasant weather ; whereas the storms 
and raging waves of trouble waft them to the ha- 
ven of eternal bliss. Upon this ocean I too am steer- 
ing my little bark. Be with me, my God ! and guide 
me to the wished-for shore. It will matter little then, 
whether I sailed in calm and sunshine, or through 
storms und tempests. 



OTTHOLD was invited to an entertainment, 
and had the hope held out that he would meet 
with a friend whom he loved, and in whose 
"^1^^ society he took the greatest delight. On join- 
ing the party, however, he learned that, owing to some 
imforeseen occurrence, this friend was not to be present, 
and felt too much chagrined to take any share in the 
hilarity. The circumstance afterwards led him into 
the following train of thought : The pious soul that sin- 
cerely loves and fervently longs for the Lord Jesus, 
experiences what I lately did. She seeks her Beloved 
in all places, objects, and events. If she find Him, who 
is happier ? If she find Him not, who more disconso- 
late ? Ah ! Lord Jesus, Thou best of Friends ! Thou 
art the object of my love ; my soul seeketh Thee ; my 
heart longeth after Thee. What care I for the world, 
with all its pleasures and pomps, its power and glory, 
unless I find Thee in it ? AVhat care I for the daintiest 
food, the sweetest drinks, and the merriest company, 
unless Thou art present, and unless I can dip my mor- 
sel in Thy wounds, sweeten my draught with Thy grace, 
and hear Thy pleasant words. Verily, my Saviour, 
were I even in heaven, and did not find Thee there, it 



would seem to mc no heaven at all. Wherefore, Lord 
Jesus! when I seek Thee with tears, sighs, yearnings of 
heart, and patient hope, hide not Thyself from me, but 
suffer me to find Thee ! For, Lord ! whom have I in the 
heaven but Thee ? and there is none upon the earth 
that I desire besides Thee. My flesh and my heart 
faileth ; but God is the strength of my heart, and my 
portion forever.^ 


^ASSING a garden. Gotthold observed a pear-tree 
whose branches were bending to the ground, as 
if they would break with the weight of the 
fruit. On asking a friend, who was with him, 
What do you think it is which this tree needs ? 
he was answered : A prop or two to support the over- 
loaded boughs. No, rejoined Gotthold, but hands to 
pluck, and baskets to contain the fruit. It presents 
to us a beautiful emblem of the Lord Jesus, our be- 
loved Saviour. He needs me, and I Him ; and so we 
suit eacli other. Nor tliink it strange when I say that 
the Lord Jesus needs me. I mean that He needs me 

1 Psalm Ixxiii. 25, 26. 



as this tree does baskets, or as the widow's cruse, 
which God had blessed, needed empty vessels to hold 
the oil ; ^ or as the mother, whose breasts overflow, 
needs the child to suck the milk. Love constrains 
tlie Lord to seek me, as my wants do me to seek 
Him. He possesses all things — heaven, earth, and 
all which they contain; but these He does not need. 
What He needs is, souls and hearts, to replenish with 
His grace and Spirit, and bless with His salvation. 
mighty love, tender compassion, and mercy of our 
Saviour ! He, who needs nothing else, cannot do with- 
out sinful and wretched man. 


WARDS the fall of the year, a party of friends 
were taking a walk in the vicinity of a town, 
QOA^ when one of them began and said : Alas ! how 
^^S-a5> all things are now rushing, as if down hill. 

towards the cold and gloomy winter ! We no 
longer hear the voice of a single bird. The lark 

1 1 Kings xvii. 12. 



mourns to see the grain mown down and carted away, 
and the fields left to it all naked and bare. To this 
Gotthold replied : The birds sing most in spring, and 
are silent in summer ; and this, in my opinion, God has 
in His goodness ordained, in order that, while as yet 
we see the precious fruits of the earth only in their 
growth, and rejoice in them only in hope, the music 
of the feathered songsters may stir us up to praise 
Him. Afterwards, however, when we begin actually 
to enjoy His manifold bounties, and bear the precious 
grain in thousands of cartloads into our barns, the 
birds keep silence, as if they deemed it needless to 
remind us of our duty, because, amidst the profusion 
of the gifts, it was not possible to forget the Giver. 
Look around you, and on every hand you will see one 
load of grain carted away after another. Do you sup- 
pose that the bountiful Father who caused it to grow 
may hope to receive for each a hymn of praise and 
thanksgiving ? And yet such a tribute is due to Him 
for every single ear, inasmuch as the whole combined 
skill and power of the human race could not, without 
His aid, have reared a single ear from the earth. 

holy God! would we but praise Thee, and love 
Thee, and live in obedience to Thy will, as long as 
Thou continuest Thy blessings to us, never would our 
hearts be empty of Thy love, our mouths of Thy praise, 
or our walk of Thy fear ! 



Clje %xtxütinl ^idnxz. 

MAN of rank possessed a piece of painting, 
which, wlien looked at as it lay extended upon a 
long table, showed only a few coarse strokes and 
confused patches of color ; but when viewed 
through a glass, which -was fixed at one end, 
beautifully and correctly portrayed a lady stretched 
upon the ground, her arm resting upon a skull, and 
a book lying open before her, which she was reading, 
with tears in her eyes. Gotthold, on the picture being 
shown to him, was greatly surprised, and said : I can- 
not but express the thoughts which arise in my mind. 
This picture, methinks, very aptly represents the Di- 
vine providence and all-wise government of the world. 
Viewed merely upon the surface, nothing .can seem 
more jarring or disordered. It offends not only the 
heathen, but even Christians. The course of things 
is well described by Solomon : I turned and saw under 
the sun that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle 
to the strong ; neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet 
riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men 
of skill ; but time and chance happeneth to them all.^ 
On the other hand, they who contemplate the state 

1 Eccles. ix. 11. 



of the world through the glass of the Word and of 
faith, speedily become convinced that a secret order 
runs through this apparent disorder ; and, though pre- 
viously unable to distinguish one form or object from 
another, soon discover that the wise and mighty hand 
of God has skilfully fitted all things into each other, 
and, amidst the thousand complicated changes which 
take place, keeps the course of His providence un- 
changed, — ßo that what we call Fortune, Accident, or 
Chance, is in reality nothing but the execution of His 
merciful, righteous, and immutable plans. 



^WO glasses were fitted by a friend into a little 
ivory box in such a way that any small object, 
like a midge or other insect, when put into 

GVSi i t, and viewed through tlie smaller and upper 
i^ass, seemed of enormous size, and all its 
parts, however diminutive, were distinctly visible. If, 
however, the box was reversed, and the objects contem- 
plated through the larger glass, they then appeared to 
shrink below the usual size. Gotthold looked upon 



the contrivance with no ordinary pleasure, and said : I 
know not Avhat better name to give this box than the 
magnifying-glass. In my opinion, however, the hearts 
of the proud and hypocritical are of the same construc- 
tion. AVhon they contemplate what is their own, — 
their virtues and talents, — they see through a glass, 
which self-love has so artfully prepared that all seems 
of vast dimensions, and they imagine that they have 
good reason to boast and congratulate themselves upon 
their gifts. If, however, they have occasion to look at 
their neighbor and his good points, they turn the little 
box upside down, and all seems small and common- 
place. They observe their own faults and vices through 
the diminishing glass, and reckon them very inconsid- 
erable ; while they contemplate their neighbor's from 
the opposite side, and so convert a midge into an 
elephant. The greatest of all delusions in the world 
is that which man voluntarily practises upon himself, 
and which betrays him, with his eyes open, into pride, 
self-esteem, and contempt of others. You will own 
that the heart of the Pharisee, who looked upon him- 
self as a mighty saint, and upon the publican as a 
brand fit for the burning, was of this description. 
That Pharisee, however, has left behind him a numer- 
ous offspring, and spread his line over the whole earth. 
In fact, I do not believe there exists the man who has 
not sometimes used such a box in the wny wo have 
described. This is the source of all the mischief in 



the world ; for, by magnifying ourselves and diminish- 
ing our neighbor, we come to fancy that we ought 
to bear nothing, and be all things. It also breeds 
boasting, disdain, wrath, hatred, implacability, inso- 
lence, and the like ; and therefore the Word of God 
reminds every man not to think of himself more highly 
than he ought to tliink,^ and distinctly says : If any 
man think himself to be something when he is nothing, 
he deceiveth himself^ 

My God, I perceive that it is self-love, and its off- 
spring, self-deception, which shut the gates of heaven, 
and lead men, as if in a delicious dream, to hell. Oh, 
give me grace not to follow myself and my delusions, 
but Thee and Thy Word ! It will then be impossible 
for me to go astray. 

— — ->a^oo 


day Gotthold happened to find a friend tun- 
g his lute, which proved a work of some labor. 
This led him to say : The Christian may aptly 
be compared to such an instrument. A lute 
is made of common and soft timber, which 
has not itself, but the hand of the workman, to thank for 

X Kom. xii. 3. 

2 Gal. vi. 3. 



fashioning it into what it is. In like manner, a Chris- 
tian has no distinction ahove other men, save that tlie 
hand of a merciful God has made of him a vessel of 
grace. As a lute requires to be strung, and skilfully 
tuned and touched, so must the finger of God furnish 
the heart of the Christian with good thoughts, and then 
adjust them to the honor of His name. However beau- 
tiful a lute may be, it is easily put out of tune, and there- 
fore needs continual care. And so does our Christian- 
ity. Disattuned by the devil, the wicked world, and 
our own perverse will, it would sound harshly, did not 
the gracious hand of the Most High daily regulate and 
correct it. 

At the same time, let us remember what duties are 
ours. If we labor to tune a lute, that its sound may 
not grate upon human ears, why do we not take equal 
pains to harmonize and regulate our thoughts, words, 
and works, that they may not offend the sharp eyes and 
ears of the Most High ? We hear at once, if but a sin- 
gle string is out of tune ; and yet we often neither 
mark nor care for the discord between our life and 
walk, and God's holy commandments. Men instantly 
tell us of the false note In our music ; and let us also, 
my friend, admonish each other, when we perceive a 
flaw or discord in our Christianity. 

Lord Jesus! tune, regulate, and mould my life, and 

make it consonant with Thine. It is true that my 

strings are weak, and cannot sustain so high a pitch as 




Thy perfection. I console, myself, however, with the 
thought, that, as in this lute there are higher and lower 
clefs, so among Christians there are both the strong 
and the weak ; and Thou art satisfied with both, pro- 
vided only they are not false. 

0-0^:^00 ■ 


OTTHOL D saw a bee flutter for a while 
around a pot of honey, and at last light upon 
it, intending to feast to its heart's content. It, 
however, fell in, and being besmeared in every 
limb, miserably perished. On this he mused, 
and said : It is the same with temporal prosperity, and 
that abundance of wealth, honor and pleasure, which 
are sought for by the world as greedily as honey is by 
the bee. A bee is a happy creature so long as it is 
assiduously occupied in gathering honey from the flow- 
ers, and by slow degrees accumulating a store of it. 
When, however, it meets with a hoard like this, it knows 
not what to do, and is betrayed into ruin. In like man^ 
ner, many a man shows himself godly, humble, pious, 
so long as he is obliged, from day to day, to earn his 
bread with the sweat of his brow, and constant diffi- 



culty and toil. Let some extraordinary turn of for- 
tune, however, suddenly put him in possession of great 
wealth, and it becomes a stair by which he descends to 
the pit of destruction. A bee perishing like this, in a 
pot of honey, might be painted with the motto, Abun- 
dance is my ruin. What, then, my God ! ought I to 
desire ? A great fortune might prove to me a great mis- 
fortune, and abundance issue in eternal want. Grant 
me grace, that, like a bee, I may diligently labor in 
Thy fear, and not in vain, for the portion of bread con- 
venient for me. In other respects, be Thou my wealth, 
and then I shall be exempt from danger. 


EDITATING upon the misery o\ the times, 
and the great disorder occasioned by the war 
in all places and among all ranks. Gotthold 
v>^alked forth into the country in a desponding 

^ mood. Reaching the summit of a hill, which 
commanded an extensive view of the neighboring coun- 
try, ho tarried for a while, and indulged in the follow- 
ing train of thought : I here behold cities, villages, 
and fields ; forests, parks, and meadows ; hedges, rocks, 



cattle, birds, and men; — but all of tliem, as it were, 
comprehended by heaven, and enclosed within its circle. 
Look where I may, heaven is still the last and furthest 
object on which my eye must rest. In the same way, I 
may be assured, that whatever is or happens in the 
world, be it good or bad, is subjected to the heavenly 
government and providence. This is the vast hoop 
which, amidst the sore destruction and manifold strifes 
which prevail, keeps the world together. With this 
belt, my all-powerful, and wise, and gracious God en- 
circles all things. Just as no one can find a spot of 
earth on which he has not the heaven for a roof above 
and a fence around him, so just as little can any one 
withdraw himself from that divine and universal gov- 
ernance which disposes all things to the glory of the 
Most High, and the salvation of the righteous. Why 
then art thou cast down, my soul ! or why disquieted 
within me ? If things go strangely in the world, the 
strangest thing is this, that a divine order runs through 
the worst confusion of human affairs. Let them go as 
they will, they cannot go otherwise than as God wills. 
You may meet with much to ofiend, distress, and harm 
you ; but only look a little further, and you will see the 
heavens beyond, as the last object in sight, governing, 
comprehending, and terminating all the rest. It mat- 
ters little what may be the course things take, if it only 
tend to heaven. Wliy should you be offended because, 
in times of insecurity, war, and rapine like these, God 



does not translate you to the better world in an easy- 
chair ? Let it suffice you to know, that all His paths 
are mercy and truth/ and all terminate in heaven at 


EEING a widow, of whose piety he was aware, 
but not less of her poverty and affliction, seated 
in the garden behind her humble dwelling, and 
there frequently raising her hands to heaven, 
uttering one deep sigh after another, and accom- 
panying these with floods of tears, Gotthold could not 
help wondering why they did not drain the fountain 
which supplied them. He could scarce refrain from 
weeping in sympathy, and called to mind the words of 
the son of Sirach: Do not the tears run down the widow's 
cheek, and is not her cry against him that causeth them 
to fall ? After gazing for a while, he approached some- 
what nearer to the place, and was perceived. At the 
sight of him the widow instantly blushed, dried her 
eyes, and endeavored to conceal that she had been 
addressing such anxious supplications to God, and 
pouring out her afflicted heart in his presence. Gott- 

1 Psalm XXV. 10. 




hold, however, remarked : I call to mind the words of 
the prophet : A voice was heard in Eamah, lamentation 
and bitter weeping ; Rachel weeping for her children, 
refused to be comforted, because they were not. But 
thus saith the Lord, Refrain thy voice from weeping, 
and thine eyes from tears, for thy works shall be re- 
warded/ That your heart is crushed with anguish, the 
many tears which I have seen you shed forbid me to 
doubt ; for what are tears but a fluid which some pecu- 
liar grief wrings from a troubled heart ? And even as 
the strongest essence is extracted by fire from the finest 
herbs and flowers, so may tears be said to be the sap 
which the heat of sorrow and the cross draw from the 
afflicted heart, and carry off by the channel of the 
eyes. Be of good cheer, then, and know for certain 
that the Lord hears your supplication, and puts your 
tears into His bottle. Now you are sowing in tears ; 
hereafter you shall reap in joy.^ The tears you shed 
will be changed into wine, which you will drink with 
inconceivable delight in heaven ; or they will become 
pearls, and adorn your crown of honor in the life 

When she heard these words, the poor widow wept 
more bitterly than before, and said, with mournful 
voice : Truly, if every Christian receives a measure 
which he must fill with his tears, large is the one which 
has been allotted to me. But I am content that it 

1 Jer. xxi. 15, 16. 

2 Psalm cxxvi. 6. 



should be so, and thank my faithful God, who, after my 
much weeping and bitter sorrow, never fails to apply 
some solace to my burdened heart. 

My God ! vouchsafe to me also this grace of tears. 
They mitigate grief, break and soften the heart ; nor wilt 
Thou behold them flow without fatherly compassion. 



Y chance Gotthold happened to come upon an 
ant-hill, and entertained himself for a while 
with observing the assiduous labors of these 
little insects. He recollected the words of 
Solomon : Go to the ant, thou sluggard ; con- 
sider her ways, and be wise : which having no guide, 
overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat, and gatliereth 
her food in the harvest.^ As he further mused, he 
said: My God, no doubt there are many who equal 
these little creatures in their pains and care to col- 
lect and provide temporal supplies. But how comes 
it to pass that we are so slothful in laying up a store 
for the wants of our souls? Ants often rather drag 
than carry splinters and straws larger than themselves ; 
and so do the children of men frequently burden them- 

1 Proverbs vi. 6—8. 



selves with a load of care greatly beyond their strength, 
and, if well considered, quite as worthless as a straw. 
It is to this the prophet alludes when he says : Surely 
they are disquieted in vain. He heapeth up riches, 
and knoweth not who shall gather them.^ They think 
little of eternal things, and devote scarce a fragment of 
their time to meditation upon that time when time 
shall be no more. Knowing, as I well do, that a win- 
ter will one day overtake me, in which Thou wilt either 
appoint for me sore trials, or summon death to ap- 
proach, it shall now be my incessant employment to 
collect and store in my heart the precious grains of 
Scripture texts, in order that, when all else is con- 
sumed, my soul may never lack a supply of consolation. 


strange §argaxit, 

N a well-known city there lived two merchants — 
one of them a skilful arithmetician, and generally 
an able man ; the other, inexperienced in figures, 
and by no means a match for the former in tal- 
ent. They made the following bargain : The first 
sold a horse to the second ; but, instead of fixing a defi- 

1 Fsalm xxxix. 6. 



nite sum of money as the price, they agreed that it 
slioiild be regulated by the thirty-two nails with which 
the four shoes were fastened to the animal's hoofs, and 
sliould be paid in millet — one grain being given foi' 
the first nail, two for the second, four for the third, 
eight for the fourth, and so on ; that is, doubling tho 
number at every nail. The buyer was at first delighted 
at purchasing a fine cl larger for what he fancied a very 
moderate price ; but, when the account came to be set- 
tled, ho found that the quantity of grain which, by the 
terms of the agreement, he was required to pay, was 
enormous. In fact, he would have been reduced to beg- 
gary, if some sensible friends had not interposed, and 
procured a dissolution of the bargain. Gotthold, who 
heard the story, observed : Well does it exemplify the 
wiles of Satan. By promising merry hours and tempo- 
ral gain, he persuades and seduces man at first into 
what he calls venial faults, and labors to keep him in 
these until they have grown into a habit. Afterwards 
he advances by geometrical progression. Sin grows 
from sin, and one transgression follows another, the. new 
being always the double of the old ; and so the increase 
proceeds, until at last the base pleasure which has been 
bought, can be paid for only with that which is above 
all price, namely, the immortal soul ; unless, indeed, 
God mercifully interpose in time, with His Holy Spirit 
opening the sinner's eyes, convincing him of the decep- 
tion, and inducing him to revoke the bargain, and im- 



plore help and deliverance from his Saviour, Jesus 
Christ. It is therefore best to keep one's self aloof, in 
every way, from Satan and his concerns, and to regard 
no sin as venial and small. How can it be that, when 
it is committed in opposition to the holy will of the 
Most High God ? 

My God ! teach me to reckon every sin great, so long 
as I live; but oh, lot me look upon the very greatest 
sins as little, when I die ! 


^Ij^ Cljilbrnx's dtp, 

SAGACIOUS father had purchased for his 
children a little cup, out of which they were 
to drink, and little plates, from which to eat 
their food, and made it a rule that when these 
^ were once emptied, they received no more. 
Gotthold saw and approved tliis strict domestic disci- 
pline, but at the same time said : Friend, how comes it 
to pass that what we find beneficial for our children, 
we are unwilling to approve when done by an all-wise 
God to ourselves ? We fix and measure out for them a 
convenient portion of meat and drink, and yet we are 
seldom satisfied with that which the Most High, in His 



good pleasure, ordains for ourselves. Do we suppose 
that we men, in our foll}^ understand what is good for 
our children's health better than God what is good for 
our salvation ? my God ! had I my will in temporal 
things, I would use them in the most senseless way, 
and, as children do with meat and drink, would bring 
upon my poor soul sorrow and distress by my excesses. 
Heavenly Father ! allot to me a cup either large or 
small, and pour into it much or little, as Thou wilt ; 
but give me always a few drops of Thy blessing and 
grace, and with these I shall be satisfied. 



t OTT HOLD one day saw a farmer carefully 
V counting his sheep as they came from the field, 
q^^oxyi) Happening at the time to be in an anxious 
<^Ö3^ and sorrowful mood, he gave vent to his 
feelings, and said : Why art thou cast down, 
my soul ? and why disquieted with anxious thoughts ? 
Surely thou must be as dear to the Most High as his 
lambs to this farmer. Art thou not better than many 
sheep? Is not Christ Jesus thy Shepherd? Has not 
He risked His blood and life for thee ? Hast thou no 
interest in His woi'ds : I give unto My sheep eternal 



life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any 
pluck them out of My hand?^ This man is number- 
ing his flock ; and thinkest thou that God does not 
also count and care for His believing children and 
elect, especially as His beloved Son has averred that 
the very hairs of our head are all numbered?^ Dur- 
ing the day, I may perhaps have gone astray, and 
heedlessly followed my own devices ; still, at the ap- 
proach of evening, when the faithful Shepherd counts 
His lambs. He will mark my absence, and graciously 
seek and bring me back. Lord Jesus ! I have gone 
astray like a lost sheep: seek Thy servant; for I do 
not forget Thy commandments.^ 


BEAUTIFUL tree was so laden with fruit, 
that it bent its branches to the ground, and, 
as it were, offered it to men in handfiils. 
Gotthold beheld it with pleasure, praised God 
for the blessing, and, the apples being in sea- 
son, approached to take one. The force, however, 
which he used, shook the slender bough, and the con- 

1 John X. 28. 

2 Matt. X. 30. 

3 Psalm cxix. 176. 



sequence was, that several dropped at his feet. Fair 
tree, he exclaimed, how generous thou art ! Thou 
givest me more than I desire ; reminding me thereby 
of the incomprehensible and unmerited goodness of 
God, which presents its blessings as it were upon 
loaded branches; says to us, Behold me, behold me;^ 
and does exceeding abmidantly above all that we ask 
or think.^ Hannah, the afflicted woman, prays for a 
child, and obtains six.^ Solomon asks for wisdom to 
enable him rightly to govern his subjects, and obtains 
not wisdom only, but riches and honor, sucli as scarce 
any other monarch ever possessed.* We often ask for 
daily bread ; but as the ripe apples drop in numbers 
into my hand, so dost Thou, my God, exceed our ask- 
ing when this is good for us, and conducive to our sal- 
vation. What has a child to do with unripe fruit? 
And just as little would it profit me to receive that 
which is hurtful to the soul, even though I asked for 
it. And we, too, should resemble this tree ; presenting 
the fruits of faith to all who ask them, extending our 
loaded branches, and distributing with a liberal hand 
to the needy. As this is seldom done, we have reason 
to fear that in the garden of God not a few of the 
trees are unfruitful, mere cumberers of the ground, 
and which have therefore nothing to expect but tlie 
axe and the fire. 

1 Isaiah ]xv. 1. 

2 Ejjbes iii. 20. 

3 1 Sam. i 20; ii. 21. 

4 1 Kiijgs iii. 12, 13. 



Mj God ! make me fruitful, and ever ready to minis- 
ter to my neighbor, as all Thy creatures. do to me. 



AS SING a mill one day, Gotthold recollected 
the wise observation of a certain prince : Man's 
heart is like a millstone ; pour in corn, and 
round it goes, bruising and grinding, and con- 
verting it into flour ; vt^hereas, give it no corn, 
and the stone indeed turns round, but only grinds 
itself away, and becomes ever thinner, and smaller, 
and narrower. Even so the heart of man requires 
to have always something to do ; and happy he who 
continually occupies it with good and holy thoughts, 
otherwise it may soon consume and waste itself by 
useless anxieties, or wicked and carnal suggestions. 
When the millstones are not nicely adjusted, grain 
may indeed be poured in, but comes away only half 
ground, or not ground at all. The same often happens 
with our heart, when our devotion is not sufficiently 
resolute. On such occasions, we read the finest texts 
without knowing what wo have rend, and pray without- 
hearing our own prayers. The eye flits over the sacred 



page, the mouth pours forth the words, and clappers 
like a mill, but the heart meanwhile turns from one 
strange thought to another ; and such reading, and 
such prayer, are more a useless form than a devotion 
acceptable to God. 

My God ! I too have often, in conversing with Thee, 
been like one asleep and unconscious of what he says. 
Mercifully forgive me for this, and associate henceforth 
Thy Spirit with my heart, that my prayer may be as 
devout as Thy majesty and my own necessities require. 


BELL in the neighborhood had been rent, and 
when being rung, clearly evinced by its tone 
the damage it had sustained. Gotthold, hap- 
* pening to hear it, mused as follows : Li the 
same way, it is scarcely possible that the faults 
of those who occupy lofty stations in the world can 
remain concealed. The more highly they are exalted, 
the further off do men hear their good or defective 
tone. In persons of low degree, even great faults are 
little thought of; and the humbler they are, the more 
speedily and effectually will their evil report be swal- 



lowed up by the humbleness of their condition. Among i 

the lofty, however, the smallest blemishes are reckoned | 

great, and, by their exalted station, spread to a greater | 

distance. 1 

Keep me, my God, from casting a stumbling-block i 

before any. I will rather be humble, unknown, and I 

good, than great, renowned, and ungodly, j 

PERSON was lamenting that, though he had 

f that, for this reason, he was resolved hence- 
forward to limit and restrain his liberality. Gotthold 
replied : Friend, did you ever see the horses taken to 
water ? They rush into some beautiful stream or tran- 
quil lake, and drink of it to their heart's content ; after 
which they turn their backs upon it, or stamp in it 
with their feet until the water is polluted. This is the 
price they pay for their refreshing draught. But what 
then does the noble river ? It immediately floats away 
the mud, and continues after, as it was before, full, and 
free of access for the same or other thirsty creat^^"^Si 


done good to numbers of his fellow-men, he 
had been rewarded with gratitude by few, and 
with ingratitude by many ; and he averred 




And so must you also do. If there really be a foun- 
tain of genuine charity in your heart, it will con- 
stantly and spontaneously overflow, whether those who 
drink of it are thankful or not. He is a senseless 
husbandman who expects to reap the produce of his 
seed before the harvest. This life is the season for 
sowing and scattering ; we shall reap hereafter. 

My God ! grant that my bounty may be a clear 
and transparent river, flowing from pure charity, and 
uncontaminated by self-love, ambition, or interest. 
Thanks are due, not to me, but Thee, from whom 
all I possess is derived. And what are the paltry 
gifts for which my neighbor forgets to thank me, com- 
pared with the immense blessings for which I have 
so often forgotten to be grateful to Thee ! 


IS HING- to seal a letter. Gotthold called for 
a lighted candle. T4ie maid obeyed his or- 
ders ; but, proceeding too hastily, the flame, 
which had not yet gathered sufficient strength, 
went out. Here, said Gotthold, we have that 
which may well remind us of the gentleness and mod- 




eratioii to be observed in our comportment towards 
weak and erring brethren. Had this candle, when first 
lighted, been carried slowly, and shaded by the hand 
from the air, it would not have been extinguished, but 
would soon have burned with vigor. In like manner, 
many a weak brother might be set right, if we only 
came to his help in the right way, and with kindly ad- 
vice. It is not by violent strokes that you reduce the 
dislocated limb. Christ Himself does not quench the 
smoking flax, but blows upon it with the gentle breath 
of the blessed words that proceed out of His mouth ; ^ 
and this was the reason why disconsolate sinners flocked 
around, and pressed upon Him, to hear what He said.'^ 


Continuing, Gotthold said: The candle, by 
burning and shining, consumes itself, but gives 
^ light to others, and ministers to their use. In 


the same way ought we to reckon ourselves 
happy when we are permitted to employ our 
bodily and mental powers in the service of God and our 
neighbor, although we thereby gradually waste them 
away, and become ripe for death. It is better to con. 

1 Luke iv 22. 2 Luke v. Ij xv. 1. 



sume our life in care and discomfort for the service of 
others, than in luxury and pleasure to our own destruc- 


Cljirb Ipi^trxttitxßit 011 i\t 

(C?^FTEN, in the evening, Gotthold added further, 
nwl/ we see the midges swarming about the candle, 
OA^BsQ and never desisting until they have singed 

their wings, and even burned their bodies. 

The same happens to all who, with presump- 
tuous and inquisitive thoughts, flutter around that Light 
which no man can approach unto.^ In place of enlight' 
ening, it dazzles or destroys them. Nor is any one so 
incapable of comprehending the divine mysteries as he 
who fancies that he has a special talent for the task, 
and ventures, with ingenious intellect, to pry into all 

Lord Jesus ! Thou light of the world, be also the 
light of my soul ! What a candlestick is without the 
candle, that is my reason without Thy grace and Spirit. 
Grant that I may here, as a child of the light, walk in 
the light ; and hereafter be also found meet for the in- 
heritance of the saints in light ! 

1 1 Timothy vi. 16. 



HERE is a species of poplar whose leaves have 
long and slender stalks, and are therefore often 
rustled by a breeze too faint to stir the foliage 
of the other trees. Noticing the fact one day, 
when there was scarce a breath of air, Gotthold 
thought with himself: This tree is the emblem of a 
man with a wounded and uneasy conscience, which 
takes alarm at the most trifling cause, and agitates him 
to such a pitch, that he knows not whither to fly. The 
wicked man trembleth all his days, saith the Scrip- 
ture : ^ a dreadful sound is in his ears ; and though 
there be peace, he feareth that the destroyer shall come 
upon him, and that he shall not escape misfortune. 
The Jews tell us of Cain, when sojourning in the 
land of Nod, — which is the land of motion, — that 
wherever he trod, the earth quaked beneath his feet, 
as if unwilling to bear the fratricide. Be that as it 
may, it is at least certain, that he who has a troubled 
conscience can find rest nowhere. The threat pro- 
nounced by God upon the evil-doer is fulfilled in 
him : - Thou shalt find no ease, neither shall the sole 
of thy foot have rest ; but the Lord shall give thee a 
trembling heart, and failing eyes, and sorrow of mind. 

1 Job XV. 20. 

2 Deut. xxviii. 65. 



It is a sore calamity and distress when, from age, sick- 
ness, or accident, we are afflicted with a trembling of 
the head or limbs ; but it is far worse when a troubled 
conscience makes the heart within us quake like an 
aspen leaf. 

Merciful God ! help me, by Thy grace, never to do 
wliat my conscience forbids. Sin may be pleasant to 
swallow, but bitter is the pain with which it afterwards 
wrings the bosom. Not all the world, with all its 
wealth and honor, pleasures and consolations, can 
soothe or tranquillize it. Eest for the soul flows from 
no other source tlian the wounds of Jesus. 



STORY was told of a beggar who, during the 
day, limped about upon crutches, pretending 
to be lame and impotent, and begging for alms 
with a mournful voice ; but who, in the even- 
ing, at his quarters, and in the midst of his 
comrades, cast his crutches away, took part in the 
carouse, and showed by dancing the perfect soundness 
of his limbs. Many expressed their surprise at this, 
and called the fellow impostor, tliief, niid vagabond. 



But Gotthold observed : My friends, lie is not the first, 
and just as little ^yill he be the last, to practise false- 
hood for the sake of money. Do you suppose that he 
has not many a match, even aAnong those who go about 
arrayed in silk and satin ? How many try to cheat, 
not merely men, but God ! How many deceive them- 
selves, as this beggar does his fellow-men ! Only reflect 
what takes place in church. We demean ourselves 
devoutly during worship, penitently at confession, and 
decently and temperately at the season of communion. 
Our words then are : Ah, me ! I am a poor sinner ; 
heartily do I deplore my transgressions ; I cast myself 
upon the Divine mercy ; I will be glad to mend my 
ways. Oh, how grieved the beggar then is ! and how 
afflicted he pretends to be ! But only observe him 
when he has quitted the church, laid aside his assumed 
devotion and fictitious piety, is left to himself, and 
returns to his wanton associates. In a moment, sin, 
repentance, good resolutions, heaven and hell, are all 
forgotten. Devotion is drowned, conscience cast away, 
and the poor sinner no longer sorrowful, sick, and 
wretched, hut bold, reckless, haughty, and ungovern- 
able. We wonder, and with good reason, that, under 
the Papacy, people believe that they can promote their 
salvation l-y purchasing a monk's hood and wearing it 
in the grave. We are not, however, aware that we 
ourselves liave only chosen the hood of a hypocrite, in 
preference to that of a monk. This is the disguise 



which most Christians wear, and in which they also 
die ; they seem to think that to become a new creature 
in Christ is a very poor affiiir. 

Alas, Lord Jesns ! of all deceptions in the world, 
none is so common as self-deception. Looking into 
the mirror of self-love, men fancy that, if they please 
themselves, they must also be pleasing to Thee ; whereas 
the very opposite is the case. Oh, let Thy Holy Spirit 
guide me into all truth, and keep me from imposing 
upon myself! 



AS SING a tavern one Sabbath-day, Gotthold 
heard the loud and boisterous laughter of a 
great company resounding from it, and said, 
with a sigh : Alas, beloved Saviour ! how little 
attention is paid to the word which Thou hast 
spoken : Woe unto you that are fidl, for ye shall hun- 
ger I woe unto you that laugh now, for ye shall mourn 
and weep!^ We read that the heathen, in ancient 
times, figured Laughter as a god, erected a statue, 
and, with great rejoicings, celebrated an annual feast 
in his honor. The nominal Christians of our own 

1 Luke vi. 25. 



day have, as it appears, been learning their customs ; 
but, in place of one, have built many temples to the 
idols of Laughter and Joy, and meet in them, not 
annually, but rather Aveekly and daily, showing far 
greater diligence in their worship than in the service 
of the true God. Even the Sabbath has become a 
day for tippling and swinisli excess ; piety is changed 
into pomp, seriousness into sensuality. But, alas ! 
laughter like this makes devils laugh, and is a pre- 
monition and prelude of everlasting weeping and wail- 
ing ; just as the laugh of new-born infants is regarded 
by physicians and motliers as a sign of the sharp pains 
and bitter crying that are to ensue. 

This reminds me of a strange and melancholy story 
of an incident which took place ton or twelve years ago 
in a celebrated commercial city. A well-dressed and 
handsome youth entered an inn, called for breakfast, 
then for beer and wine, and at last for gamesters and 
musicians. He spent the whole day in mirth and jollity 
of every conceivable sort ; and, when evening came, 
paid the bill, and bade the musicians follow him, play- 
ing their very best. He then took the way to the 
navigable river which flows in the vicinity, — dancing, 
singing, and laughing as he went, — and walked into 
the water, to the astonishment of tlie musicians, who, 
fancying it was a diversion, looked on and continued 
to play. At last, calling for a right merry tune, and 
throwing them a dollar from the stream, he laughed 



aloud, cried Good-night, gentlemen, plunged into the 
deep, and was drowned. It was generally supposed 
that he was a clerk from some distant place, who had 
squandered the money of his principal, and did not 
dare to face the day of reckoning. Fear of punish- 
ment on earth plunged him into everlasting wailing. 
Such is the mirth, the pleasure, and the laughter of 
the world. 

Holy and merciful God ! grant me grace to rejoice 
as though I rejoiced not. Thou art the fountain of 
true, heavenly, and perpetual joy. Be Thou the joy 
of my heart, and then will I willingly forego the joys 
of the world. Better enter into heaven weeping and 
mourning, than go to hell with mirth and laughter. 



PERSON in deep distress called one day on 
Gotthold, told him that he had something to 
say, and expressed a wish to converse with him 
alone. Being shown into a side-chamber, he 
began to shed such a flood of tears as rendered 
vain any attempt to utter a word. You wished to 


speak with me, said Gotthold, and now, though your 
lips are silent, I can easily understand, from the lan- 
guage of your eyes, that your heart is burdened with 
some great distress. Dear sir, do tell me what it is, 
and relieve your mind. Ahl said the stranger, sin, 
sin ! thou.poison of the soul ! how dost thou gnaw and 
plague my poor heart ! To this Gotthold rejoined, with 
a smile : You had almost made me as disconsolate as 
yourself, and drawn tears from my eyes by those that 
flow from your own. But, so far as I can understand, 
this sorrow of yours is not worth sorrowing for ; nay, 
your grief even makes me glad, and I take delight in 
your distress. Indeed, even the holy angels smile to 
see you weep, and the Lord Jesus Himself rejoices be- 
cause you mourn. Had I witnessed your sin, I might 
then have wept ; but, now that you are weeping tears 
of sorrow for it, you give me cause heartily to rejoice. 
This is that godly sorrow which worketli repentance 
unto salvation, not to be repented of.^ I wish from my 
inmost soul that I saw all the impenitent and secure in 
the state in which you are. There are many indeed 
who weep because they cannot have their will, not 
many because they have had it. I see plenty of 
mourners in the world, but few who mourn for them- 
selves ; and yet, miserable is that soul which has never 
once wept for its own undoing. Disconsolate hearts, 
however, are the proper vessels to be filled with the 

1 2 Coi . vii. 10. 



blood and consolations of the Lord Jesus. Weep, then, 
and let the fountain of your tears flow unrestrained. 
The heavenly Physician is already seeking a remedy 
for your sorrow. 


HE stranger continued : Ah, me ! why did God 
permit me to go astray, and commit sin ? In 
truth, replied Gottliold, you may be certain 
that it would have been much more pleasing to 
Him if you had not sinned ; but, since the 
thing is done, be thankful that, in His mercy and for- 
bearance. He did not punish you in the act, and, by a 
sudden death, hurry you into eternal perdition. Un- 
derstand likewise, that, being infinitely powerful and 
good, He would not suffer evil to take place in the 
world at all, if His infinite power and goodness could 
not turn it into good. Meditation upon sin breeds 
godly sorrow, holy hatred of a sinful life, contempt of 
the world, and longing after heaven. The soul which 
is watered with such rain as your penitent tears, will 
flourish with the graces of humility and meekness, 
long-sufiering, loving-kindness, and compassion for oth- 



ers. No one teaches more gently, or waits more pa- 
tiently, or comforts more effectually, or forgives more 
heartily, than he who has himself needed gentleness, 
patience, comfort, and forgiveness. Who loves the 
Lord Jesus so much as he to whom many sins have 
been forgiven ? Who has so strong a relish for the 
sweetness of grace as he who, under the painful smart 
of his misdeeds, has tasted the Divine displeasure ? As- 
cribe your fall to yourself, and your own wickedness ; 
but ascribe the season you have had for repentance, and 
the insight which you have obtained into the deformity 
of sin, and the hearty desire you cherish for the grace 
of God, solely to the Divine goodness. That is of so 
marvellous a kind, that it strengthens us even by our 
frailties, and raises us by our falls. 


XPERIENCE testifies, that after a severe fall, 
Ej^ßy or the fracture of an arm or leg, although the 
injury may have been successfully cured, yet 
the patient frequently feels pain in the in- 
jured part, especially at the approach of a 
storm. Some sensations of the kind led Gotthold to 
reflect upon them, and he was at a loss what to call 



tliem but a secret impulse of the love of God, intended 
to remind us that our gratitude is due to Him, as long 
as we live, for graciously protecting us in the hour of 
danger, and so far mitigating the evil, as that it should 
not break our neck, or cripple us for life. But, just 
like the body, he proceeded to say, so has the soul its 
mishaps, its convalescence, and after-pains. 

Alas, my God ! what else is this life but a miry way, 
a sheet of slippery ice, and a dangerous ladder ? How 
easily we may happen to fall and hurt our soul.^ In 
such a case, no doubt, Thou tenderly pitiest us, and 
healest our infirmities. But, that we may not forget 
ourselves, and may learn to walk humbly and circum- 
spectly, our conscience sometimes feels the smart of 
former falls. My God ! when the painful remem- 
brance of my past sins recurs, I will thank Thee, 
that Thou didst not suddenly cut me off in my trans- 
gressions, but in Thine unspeakable goodness didst 
spare my life. I will also thank Thee for not leaving 
me at ease under my hurt, but for adopting means 
to cure it thoroughly in this present life, that it may 
not terminate in everlasting death hereafter. The 
pains of conscience are caused by the wine of the law 
which Thou pour est in to cleanse the wound. But 
along with the wine Thou pourest in the oil of mercy 
to soothe and heal it. Be it smart, or be it solace, 
both, I am certain, will work together for my good. 

1 Prov. viii. 36. Lutli. ver. 




OTTHOLD was one day shown into an apart- 
ment in which a number of birds were kept 
*X^p:ßy^ for the entertainment of their owner. Among 
^^'^^ these was a nightingale, in a cage covered 
with green cloth, and a finch, blindfolded. As the 
owner said, and as experience testified, these two 
surpassed all the rest in the mirth and pleasantness 
of their notes. Gotthold observed : Although I cannot 
approve of imprisoning these poor little creatures, and 
far less of depriving them of the use of their eyes and 
the light of the sun, it yet gives me pleasure to behold 
in them the true emblem of a devout suppliant, who 
speaks to his God with filial boldness, and thanks Him 
with joyful lips for all his blessings. To this end, the 
soul must be in solitude and at peace, and not only 
choose a secret and undisturbed retreat, but keep aloof 
from its own worldly cares, thoughts, and wishes, and 
resign itself, with child-like confidence, to the Divine 
will. How blessed the man who prays with his soul 
blindfolded, seeing nothing but the mercy and majesty 
of God 1 His prayers, and psalms, and sighs, are so 
pleasing, that God and all the holy angels listen to 
them with delight. At first, indeed, it may appear 
strange and difficult, when we are told to look upon no 



earthly object with confidence ; on further trial and 
experience, however, we will discover that no one ob- 
serves more acutely, or sings more sweetly, than he 
who, sequestered from the world, and blindfolding the 
eyes of his understanding, directs his heart, in peace 
and simplicity, to God. 

my God ! close my eyes, that I may see Thee ; 
separate me from the world, that I may enjoy Thy 



EETING an old and worthy man, who lifted 
if|! his hat to him, and thereby exposed his silvery 
locks. Gotthold thought with himself: How 
true it is, as the Scripture says, that the hoary 
head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the 
way of righteousness ; and that the gray head is the 
beauty of old men ! ^ God Himself, when He appeared 
in a human form, was pleased to wear gray hair,^ 
and in His law has enjoined the young to rise up 
before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old 
man.^ Even the heathen discovered, by the light of 

1 Prov. xvi. 31; xx. 29. 2 Dan. vii 9; Rev. i. 14 3 Lev. xix. 32. 



nature, that it is disgraceful not to treat the hoary head 
with respect. This silvery crown cannot be won with- 
out a world of care, trouble, and sorrow ; and therefore 
every white hair upon it should admonish the young to 
show it due honor, thankfully acknowledge its toils, 
and supplicate of God long to spare and preserve the 
heads whose silvery locks conceal much wise counsel, 
large experience, and lofty gifts. 

My God ! my time is in Thy hands. Should it please 
Thee to lengthen my life, and complete, as Thou hast 
begun, the work of blanching my locks, grant me grace 
to wear them as an unsullied crown of honor. Should 
this not be Thy pleasure, I shall be satisfied with know- 
ing, as I do, that wisdom is gray hair unto men, and an 
unspotted life old age. 


(^=^EING present in a company where a new coin, 
M bearing the likeness of a great potentate, was 
produced. Gotthold put the question : For 
what reason, think you, do monarchs cause 
their image to be stamped upon the coin of 
the realm ? To this one replied : No doubt, in order 



thus, too, to set up a memorial of themselves to pos- 
terity ; there being nothing which men store and pre- 
serve with so much pains as money. In my opinion, 
said another, a prince imprints his likeness upon the 
coin, as he does his seal upon a letter, in order to 
authenticate and give it currency as lawful and ster- 
ling. Said a third, It may probably be also done to 
remind the subjects heartily to love and pray for the 
authorities under whose shield and protection they are 
enabled, in freedom and safety, to sell and buy, carry 
on trade and commerce, travel, or stay at home. My 
explanation, subjoined Gotthold, would be, that a sov- 
ereign intends, by tlie exhibition of his image, to re- 
mind his subjects of his authority, power, and justice, 
that under this strong inducement, they may show the 
same integrity and uprightness in tlieir dealings and 
transactions, as if the prince himself were agent, and 
ratified these by his presence. Let the occasion also 
remind us that our hearts ought to be a divine medal, 
stamped with the image of Christ, the Prince of heaven ; 
and all that w^e say, or think, or do, should bear the 
impress of His love, gentleness, humility, kindness, tem- 
perance, charity, contentment, and truth. 

All, Lord Jesus ! do Thou Thyself stamp Thine 
image upon my heart, that it may be acknowledged 
as sterling in heaven. The dollars and ducats wdiich 
we so highly value, receive the royal or princely image 

only by being subjected to the liannuer and the stamp. 




Even so, no one can be renewed into the image of God, 
unless he submit with cheerfulness and patience to the 
blessed cross. 


N a company of friends, the conversation happened 
to turn upon the magnitude of the sun, moon, 
and other stars, when one of them observed : It 
seems to me scarcely credible, that a body, appar- 
ently no bigger than a ball of fire or a glittering 
speck, should yet be many thousand miles in circumfer- 
ence. Gotthold heard the remark, and, in explanation 
of the matter, observed : Did you, when abroad at 
night, ever happen to see a fire kindled by herdsmen, 
or hunters in the forest, or, for the benefit of sailors, 
on the sea-shore. Belield from a distance, it seems so 
small, that you would declare it was only a spark. The 
nearer you approach it, however, the juster the notion 
you obtain of its magnitude. It is the same with the 
balls on tlic top of lofty spires ; many a one, when he 
sees them from tlie ground, fancies they are no larger 
than his hat ; and yet, you are aware, they are several 
ells in circumference. It is also the same, he proceeded 



to say, with the heavenly bodies ; and when I now in- 
form you that astronomers have indisputably proved 
that these are many millions of miles remote from the 
earth, you may perhaps be mightily astonished at a dis- 
tance so vast ; but, admitthig the fact, you can have no 
difficulty in conceiving that, in spite of their prodigious 
size, the stars should yet appear to us so small. In or- 
der, however, that we may reap some spiritual profit 
from this subject, let me take occasion, from your doubts, 
to remind you of the unbelief which we naturally in- 
herit regarding divine and heavenly things. Earthly 
objects, which are before our eyes and lie at our feet, 
appear to us great and valuable, and worthy our utmost 
efforts ; and so we strive laboriously after them, al- 
though they owe all their magnitude to our imagina- 
tion ; whereas, on the contrary, the heavenly things 
which God holds forth to our viev\^ in His promises, and 
intimates to us by many a foretaste of His benignity — 
all vast and glorious although in reality they be — are 
reckoned small and inconsiderable, and sought after 
with little diligence or pains. The reason is, that we 
are on the earth, and are earthly minded. They how- 
ever, who, on the wings of faith and devout contempla- 
tion, soar somewhat nearer to heaven, imagine the 
earth to be a little ball, and the great and haughty 
among mankind, with all their mighty enterprises, to 
be mere ants or worms that crawl upon it. The same 
persons, on the other hand, see heavenly things as 



great, glorious, and desirable — suitable to the great- 
ness of Him who dwells in heaven. Learn, therefore, 
in future, to think little of what is thought great upon 
earth, and to aspire after that heaven in which alone 
are to be found great joy, great peace, great riches, 
great honor, great society, a great house, a great God, 
and a great and endless felicity. 

My God ! grant unto me what well beseems a soul 
which Thou lovest and chooscst — a proper sense of 
pride, that I may look upon this poor and passing 
shadow of a world as nothing, seeing that it cannot 
satisfy the wants of a spirit so noble in its nature, and 
so precious in Thine eyes. Grant also that I may pant 
after Thee and Thy heavenly kingdom, where all will 
be greater than my puny mind can now conceive. 


C X L 1 1. 

wo neighbors entered into a contract when 
Gotthold happened to be present. It was 
thought advisable that the terms should be 
drawn up in writing ; but, as the party who 
gave the promise offered his right hand to 
the other, saying. There is my right hand — I will 
execute what I have undertaken like an honest man 



the other was instantly satisfied, and replied : Since 
you have given your word and hand, I trust you as 
an honest man. Well done, my friends ! exclaimed 
Gotthold ; this is old German truth and integrity. 
Would that they were still universal ! Christian sin- 
cerity should be the most binding of all obligations ; 
but, being now so rare, recourse has been had to writ- 
ings and seals ; and even these are not always found 
to be the best security. But anotlier thought has just 
entered my mind : We men do occasionally trust a fel- 
low-man in whom we discover some trace or hope of 
truthfulness, provided he pledge his hand and word. 
Why, then, do we not trust God, whom no one ever 
found false ? W^e have His word in the Scripture and 
its promises ; we have His hand in the dealings of 
His providence, and in the experiences of oiir whole 
life ; we have His heart in the crucified Jesus ; and, 
I might also add. His letter, written with the blood 
of His Son, and confirmed by the seal of His Holy 
Spirit. What, then, should hinder us from joyfully 
and fearlessly trusting Him with our whole heart and 
soul ? We trust a father, a mother, a brother, because 
they are related to us by blood ; we trust a lawyer for 
his wisdom, and commit to him our aft'airs ; we trust 
a physician for his skill, and confide our health into 
his hand. Why, then, do we not trust God, who is all, 
knows all, and is both able and willing to do all that 
is necessary for our present good and final salvation? 



^HE conversation, in a company, happening to 

turn npon the beating and motion of the 
^Y\^>^ heart in the human body, great admiration 
was expressed at the power and wisdom 
with which the Creator has so contrived 
these, as to keep the blood in circukition, and im- 
pregnate it with vital power, assimilating the heart, 
as one of the company observed, to the great ma- 
chines which, through secret pipes, distribute water 
over a whole city. Gotthold observed : Let this re- 
mind us of the expression which the Holy Spirit has 
twice used respecting David, namely, that his heart 
smote him,^ upon one occasion, when, in the cave, he 
cut off the skirt of Saul's robe ; and upon another,^ 
after he had numbered the people. And let us sup= 
plicate as a grace from God, that, whenever we are 
tempted, by imprudence or infirmity, to enter on any 
doubtful or dangerous course, our heart may in the 
same way beat and palpitate, to warn us of our dan- 
ger ; or that, if we have already been misled, and 
are fallen into sin, it may give us no rest, but smite 
and compel us, till, with true repentance, we fly to 
the cross of Christ, and find rest for it in Him. Not 

1 1 Sam. xxiv. 5. £ 2 Sam. xxiv. 10. 



without reason do I call such palpitation a grace of 
God ; for, in fact, it is nothing else but Christ and 
His Spirit knocking at the door of our heart, either 
to dissuade us from sinning, or induce us to repent 
of having sinned. In the body, the stoppage of the 
heart's beating indicates the presence of death ; and, 
even so, he who no longer feels palpitation in his con- 
science, is, even though living, spiritually dead. 


/q?) N the case of the criminal who has long stifled 
his conscience, the heart beats violently when 

fhe labors under apprehension or anxiety. We 
are told of an ingenious judge, who, as an easy 
and expeditious way of detecting a murderer 
among a number of persons who were suspected, or- 
dered them all to stand round him in a circle, and 
uncover their bosoms. He then proceeded to lay his 
hand upon each in succession over the region of the 
heart, and discovered the perpetrator by the violence 
of the palpitation. 

Here Gotthold paused ; but a learned man, who was 



present, took up the word, and said that he had re- 
cently met with a very beaiitiful story, which was 
highly appropriate to the subject of conversation ; and 
that, if it was the company's pleasure, he would briefly 
relate it. It happened in Switzerland, about one hun- 
dred and twenty years ago, that a worthy peasant was 
sentenced to the flames for adherence to the truth of 
the gospel. After many admirable proofs of constancy 
and fortitude during his confinement, he, so to speak, 
bequeathed to posterity a most remarkable one imme- 
diately before his death. AVhon bound, and ready to 
be thrown into the fire, lie craved permission to speak 
once more to the judge, who, according to the Swiss 
custom, was required tobe also present at the execution. 
After repeate'dly refusing, the judge at last came for- 
ward, when the peasant addressed him thus : You have 
this day condemned me to death. Xow, I freely admit 
that I am a poor sinner, but positively deny that I am 
a heretic, because from my heart I believe and confess 
all that is contained in tlie Apostles' Creed (which he 
thereupon repeated from beginning to end). Now, 
then, sir, he proceeded to say, I have but one last 
request to make ; which is, that you will approach and 
place your hand first upon my breast, and then upon 
your own, and afterwards frankly and truthfully de- 
clare, before this assembled multitude, which of the 
two, mine or yours, is beating most violently with fear 
and anxiety. For my part, I quit the world with alac- 



rity and joy, to go and be with Christ, in whom I have 
always believed ; what your feelings are at tliis moment 
is best known to yourself. The judge could make no 
answer, and commanded them instantly to light the 
pile. It was evident, however, from his looks, that he 
was more afraid than the martyr. 

Gotthold offered the thanks of the company to the 
speaker for his beautiful story, with which, he said, he 
had not met in any of the martyrologies, and added : 
Let us, therefore, earnestly desire and continually pray, 
in the name of Christ, to God, graciously to give to us 
at our death an equally calm, happy, and fearless heart. 



STUDENT of theology complained one day 
that he was too poor to procure a sufficient 
supply of books ; and yet, according to his opin- 
ion, a study without books, was like a druggist's 
shop, in which the unstopped pliials and empty 
boxes can furnish no medicine for the cure of disease. 
Gotthold replied : There is some truth in what you 



say ; but, my good sir, do not imagine that a multitude 
of books is the only source from which it is possible to 
derive that erudition and mental culture winch are ae- 
ce}3table in the sight of God. In fact, they often do 
more harm than good. It is possible to dry up a vast 
stream by draining oif its waters into little currents ; 
and this is what happens to the mind which is prompted 
by curiosity or the hope of fame to read much, and toil 
through many books, but which gains only the boast of 
having read them ; at the same time losing its humility 
and godliness. How foolish, too, is the man who sets 
up a number of costly volumes, like superfluous fur- 
niture, for mere ornament, and is far more careful to 
keep them from contracting a single spot of ink than to 
use them as the means of instructing his ignorance, and 
correcting his faults. Compared with fools like these, 
you ought to be considered fortunate. Better a man 
without books, than books without a man. Select for 
yourself one or two of superior excellence, and lay 
them not aside, until it is observable in both you and 
them that they have been well used. That copy of an 
old author, which a pious lady had read so often, and 
bedewed so plentifnlly with her tears, that the pages 
had grown thin and sallow, was worth all the libraries 
of all hypocrites and nominal Cln^istians collected into 
one. Be less concerned, therefore, about tlie number 
of the books you read, and more about the good use 
you make of tliem. Tlie best of books is the Bible ; it 



is the treasury of all spiritual and divine sciences. To 
it, therefore, you must give the preference, because it 
will instruct you unto the kingdom of heaven. 



>^OTT HOLD'S sons had purchased a savings- 
box, to keep the little sums of money they 
occasionally received, and found that, how- 
^'^5 ever easy to drop the pieces in, it was much 
more difficult to bring them out. He thereupon ob- 
served : That is an emblem of the hearts and coffers 
of the vast majority of the men of these times. They 
are very greedy to take, but very backward to give, es- 
pecially for the glory of God, and the relief of the poor. 
Oh, how long we must shake, and how many arts we 
must try, before we can extract even a penny from a 
hard and penurious man for the service of God or his 
neighbors I So long as he lives, he imagines that the 
business for which he came into the world is to collect 
and keep money ; but when he has to leave the world, 
and when death breaks the savings-box to pieces, and he 
must resign his hoard to others, he does it with reluc- 



tance and displeasure. I really believe that, were it not 
too absurd and useless, many a miser, in making his 
will, would do what a miser once actually did : appoint 
himself his own heir. How dreadful a folly to hoard 
up gold, and to lose heaven ! 

J csus, save me from the infatuation of avarice ! I 
too will lay up a treasure, but Thou shalt have the keep- 
ing of it. I will consign it to Thee through the hands 
of Thy needy members, and never will that be lost 
which is under Thy charge. 


HE manner of playing this game is, to bind the 
eyes of one of the company, who then gropes 
about blindfold, and is all the while pushed and 
'^^^f pulled by his comrades, until he can lay hold of 
^ one of them, who must thereupon take his place. 
Gotthold, coming upon a party of young people who 
were diverting themselves in this way, inquired of a 
bystander, What, think you, is the commonest game in 
the world ? In my opinion, it is this. Blind-man's 
buff is played everywhere, not merely by children and 



youths, but likewise, although unconsciously, by the old 
and wise. I here recollect the pleasing fancy of an in- 
genious author, who figures the human soul as a sliep- 
herdess at play Avith Worldly Wisdom, Wealth, Fame, 
and Pleasure ; and sufiering these her playmates to 
bind her eyes in sport, ignorant that they are all the 
time in secret league with Satan, who slips from a 
wood, and catches the soul rushing blindfold into his 
arms. This beautiful allegory portrays the manner in 
which man, blinded by the world and his own fleshly 
desires, departs from God, and unconsciously falls into 
the snares of the devil. Alas, Lord ! how many 
tiiousand thousand souls there are who rush in this very 
Avay, with bandaged eyes, darkened senses, and har- 
dened hearts, and amidst sport and laughter, into 
Satan's arms ! With how many wise, learned, rich, and 
respectable people he is daily playing at blind-man's 
buff, although they neither think nor care about the 
matter ! How many there are who suffer bad company 
to draw a cowl over their head ; or their wives, best 
friends, and nearest relatives, to bind a handkerchief 
upon their eyes ! And we love to have it so, because 
we call it sport, pleasure, diversion, love, intimacy, or a 
joke. In short, we reckon that to be a pastime which 
exposes the soul to the greatest danger, or even plunges 
it into perdition. 

Ah, my God ! keep me from ever playing such a 
game ! Give me eyes opened and enlightened by Thy 


Holy Spirit, that I may walk in the light, eschew the 
deceitful sports of the devil and the world, and escape 
in safety from their snares. This, my Father ! Thou 
hast hitherto been pleased to do. Though I have some- 
times been persuaded to join the game, Thou hast torn 
the bandage from my eyes, and delivered my soul ; and 
for this be thanks and praise ascribed unto Thee 
through all eternity. 


0MB one happened to say that characters writ- 
ten upon paper with orange or onion juice, and 
afterwards dried, cannot at first be seen or read, 
but become legible the moment they are dipped 
in V. ater. It is the same, said Gotthold, with 
men's actions. They scarcely take notice of tlieir 
siiis, or at least soon forget and are little concerned 
about them. Let God, however, immerse their con- 
science in the waves of trouble and the pains of 
death, and that which happened to the prophet hap- 
pens to them. They behold a roll, written within 
and without, and therein lamentation, and mourning, 



and woe.^ Wherefore, let us live good and Christian 
lives, that so, when it pleases our God, we may like- 
wise die good and Christian deaths. 

oo'^O« — 


gifficultg 0f Jfaiilj. 

HO, said one of a company, would really re- 
fuse to trust the blessed God ? None of us, 
certainly, said Gotthold, so long as he has also 
faith in his own hand or purse ; otherwise, to 
trust in God is a difficult, nay, an impossible 
task, for an earthly-minded, sinful, and timid heart. 
Such a heart cannot trust God without God's help, 
nor depend upon His grace without His grace's aid. 
Faith has many enemies and gainsayers ; and there- 
fore it is a fight, and only keeps its ground by fight- 
ing. It has to comprehend the great God and His 
whole heaven in a little heart ; and that is no easy 
task. A mother takes and carries about her child 
in her arms ; soothes, fondles, kisses it ; gives it meat 
and drink, and is very patient with it. But how long 
is it ere the child, on its part, learns to know the 
mother, returns her embraces and smiles, and shows 

1 Ezek. Ü. 10. 



her love and respect? For myself, I can say with 
thankfiilnessj that now, tlirougli many trials, conflicts, 
strnggles, temptations, sighs, and prayers, I have come 
so far, that I am beginning to believe that God is 
my gracious Father, and that I have an interest in the 
crucified Jesus, and in His merits, blood, and death. 
This is a lesson which I learn from day to day. Like 
a tender infant at the mother's breast, I lie at the 
Saviour's wounds, and imbibe from them His blood 
and spirit, that I may grow in strength. Lord, I be- 
lieve : help Tliou my unbelief ! 

— oo^0«<o<>- 


fl E R YIN G a boy taking lessons in arithmetic, 
ottliold said : There is here much to suggest 
good thoughts ; for the present, however, I 
will select the cipher. I once heard of a 
sagacious man, who, being on his death-bed, 
was solicited to leave some memorial to his friends. 
Unable to articulate, he made signs to have pen and 
ink brought to him, and with these traced two great 
circles, or nothings, upon a sheet of paper. After his 



decease, there was much speculation what these could 
mean. The common conjecture was, that he intended 
to signify that the body and the soul liave their ap- 
pointed circuits, and that, when these are finished, they 
return severally to their origin — the body to the earth, 
and the spirit unto God.^ In my opinion, however, the 
two ciphers must have been intended to show the nullity 
of all terrestrial things, just as the wisest of monarchs 
could find nothing but vanity and vexation in the learn- 
ing, pleasures, joys, honor, wealth, and glory of the 
world.^ In fact, these are like the rockets which at fes- 
tivals are discharged to amuse the crowd, but whose 
bright shining, and towering flame, end only in ashes. 
All that the world contains may justly be likened to a 
note inscribed with a series of such ciphers, each of 
equal value with the other, but all of them worth noth- 
ing. Ye men of learning, what is all your erudition ? 
A fragrant vapor, with which you entertain yourselves 
and others, but which speedily melts into the air. Ye 
great philosophers, what is your wisdom ? A spider's 
web, woven with ingenuity and pains, but of no use 
save to catch moths. Ye men of rank, what is your 
dignity ? An evening shadow, which, the longer it is, 
will the sooner disappear. Ye rich, what is your abun- 
dant wealth ? A rose with many thorns ; the flower 
soon withers, but the thorns remain. Yoluptuaries, 
what is your pleasure ? A sweet dream, which leaves 

1 Eccles. xli. 7. 2 Eccles. ii. 3—11. 



you nothing when you awake but unsatisfied desire. It 
is a rule in Christian arithmetic, that, take nothing from 
nothing, and nothing remains. The world has nothing, 
gives nothing, and is nothing. 


)ONTINUING his remarks. Gotthold said: 
The children of God, however, are acquainted 
with an art by which they can make some- 
thing out of nothing; for, if to several ci- 
phers^ otherwise of no value, I prefix a 
number, they then amount to several thousands. 
And, even so, the whole world, were I to possess 
it, would do me no good without the grace of God 
in Christ. If, however, I prefer Jesus to worldly 
things, — that is, if I receive them humbly, as a 
loan, from the hand of my Redeemer, and use them, 
in faith and love, to His glory, — they then acquire 
a high value, and may have the honor of being en- 
tered into the day-book and ledger of God. 

Lord Jesus! out of Thee, all things are nothing; 
and in Thee, nothing is all. Riches are nothing, 
unless they minister to Thy poverty ; the loftiest 
rank is nothing, if it seek not its honor in Thy 



ignominy and thorny crown ; knowledge is nothing, 
if it knows not Thee; and pleasure nothing, if it 
is not tempered and sanctified by Thy cross. In 
short, the world is the world, and nothing but Jesus 
is Jesus, and all. 

— -ooj^^oo- • 


BSERYING that one of his friends always car- 
ried his watch about with him, looked at it while 
travelling or transacting other important busi- 
ness, nay, not unfrequently even took it out in 
company, to ascertain how time was going, Gott- 
hold thus mused with himself: If nothing be more pre- 
cious than the fleeting time which the Most High has 
allotted to man for living and doing good, it is certainly 
a commendable practice to weigh it as if in scales, and 
portion it out with the utmost care and exactness, re- 
flecting on the words of the apostle : As we have there- 
fore opportunity (time), let us do good unto all men.^ 
The true watch, however, which, at little cost, though 
with great benefit, I shall carry about with me, is the 

1 Galatiane vi. 10. 



fear of my God ; and of this I shall appoint my con* 
science inspector, that I may do nothing but what is 
well-pleasing to Him, and required by the brevity of 
life. A conscientious heart goes perpetually like a 
watch, and, if we attend to it, will tell us correctly 
what the hour is, and when it is time either for walk- 
ing circumspectly, forsaking sin, or turning to God. 

Thou faithful God ! I thank Thee for having put the 
watch of conscience into the breast of man, and that, 
amidst all his enjoyments and employments, it strikes 
the hour so clearly that he cannot choose but hear it. 
Grant me grace piously to regulate my actions by it, 
and to lose no opportunity of doing good. 


LADY of quality once asked Gotthold what 
lessons in the practice of piety she should 
V^^j^^ learn from the gold rings upon her fingers. 
Let the marriage one, he replied, remind you 
that your soul is the bride of the Lord Jesus, 
espoused to Him in faith; and for this reason, be at 
all times true to Him, and strive to keep your soul, 



li-üG a pure and chaste virgin, unspotted from the 
world and its pollutions. When worldly and sinful 
thoughts intrude into 3^our mind, consider that they 
are the unchaste suggestions of Satan, who would 
fain estrange you from the Lord Jesus. If there he 
a stone set in the ring, reflect that, in the same way, 
Christ, the bright jasper and ruby, must be embraced 
by our faith ; because, of itself, faith is of little worth, 
but with Christ, and through Him, is worth heaven 



(ROCEEDING, Gotthold said: As the right 
hand, by wielding the pen or sword, and under- 
going all kinds of toil, earns and procures 
the rings, and yet must often resign to the 
left, which does less of the work, the honor 
of wearing them ; even so, remember that in the 
world they who merit honor most are frequently des- 
titute of it ; and look to yourself, whether the honor 
you enjoy has been really deserved ; or whether, for 
example, men merely call you a Christian, and say 

244 WEEÄ T. 

you are virtuous, godly, benevolent, while perhaps 
you are conscious of never having yet earnestly at- 
tempted to be what these names imply that you are. 

-00>ö:^00-^ . 


OOKINGr on one day while a farmer's wheat 
was being thrashed. Gotthold observed that the 
men not only stoutly beat it, but trode upon 
it with their feet ; and, finally, by various 
expedients, separated the good grain from the 
chaff, dust, and other impurities. How comes it, he 
asked himself, that whatever is of a useful nature, and 
intended to be profitable to the world, must suffer 
much, and be subjected to every kind of ill-treatment ; 
but that man, who himself does with other things as he 
lists, is unwilling to suffer, or permit God to deal as Her 
lists with him ? "Wheat, which is the noblest of all the 
products of the earth, is here thrashed, trode upon, 
swept about, tossed in the air, sifted, shaken and shov- 
elled, and afterwards ground, re-sifted, and baked, and 
so arrives at last upon the tables of princes and kings. 
What, then, do I mean in being displeased with God, 
because He does not strew my path with rose-leaves, or 
translate me to heaven in an easy-chair ? By what 



other process could the wheat be cleaned? and how 
could I be sanctified or saved, were I to remain a 
stranger to the cross, and to affliction ? 

Deal with me, therefore, my God! as Thou wilt, 
and grant that what is Thy will, may also be mine. 
Thrash, toss, and sift me, that at last I may appear as 
white and pure bread upon Thy table. I will suffer all 
the more willingly, knowing, as I do, the words of Thy 
servant : Bread-corn is bruised, and yet not destroyed 
by thrashing. This also is done by the Lord of Hosts, 
' who is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.^ 


fUOM the letter of a friend, Gotthold learned 
that a man of learning, Avith whom he was ac- 
VVt^/s quainted, had lost his memory, and thereby 
^f^^^ been incapacitated for all business of impor- 
^ tance. Having often both heard and read of 
similar cases, he reflected upon them, and ere long con- 
vinced himself that the Most High has good reasons for 
permitting them to happen. They serve to teach men 
that it is in His power to deprive them of intellectual 
gifts, no less than of goods of fortune and advantages 

1 Isaiah xxviii. 28, 29. Luth. ver. 




of person ; and, consequently, that in every respect He i 

is their Lord Superior. And this lesson should induce ] 

them to fear and love Him, and to use all things for ; 

the advancement of His glory, and in accordance with ! 

His will. 1 

Moreover, he proceeded, I am not sure whether a • 

retentive memory is absolutely preferable to a feeble | 

one or not. No doubt the memory is a treasury in j 

which a fund of sound and useful knowledge, experi- j 

ence, precepts, and instances, may be collected and pre- I 

served. By many a one, however, it is filled with things j 

which are evil, and which, in place of promoting, prove j 
a great hinderance to holiness and salvation. Happy 

the man who always remembers — 1st, Jds sin, that he j 

may be kept from security, and pride, exercise constant s 

repentance, and, with faith and humility, have recourse | 

to God's mercy and the Saviour's merits ; 2d, the bene- i 

fits lie has received from others — that he may show his ; 

gratitude; 3d, death — that, like a Christian, he may j 

prepare for its approach. But happy, likewise, the man i 

who totally forgets — 1st, his own good deeds, so as i 

never to vaunt them before God or man, nor in heart \ 

or word upbraid those to whom they were done ; 2d, ^ 

the injuries and affronts he has received from others, so as 3 
never to indulge anger or revenge ; and 3d, lost property , 
so as not vainly to distress and vex himself with cares. 

Youchsafe to me, my God ! this kind of memory, 

and this kind of forge tfulness. \ 




HE Christian, at his death, said Gotthold, should 
not be like the child who is forced by the rod to 
quit his play, but like one who is wearied of 
it, and willing to go to bed. Neither ought he 
to be like the mariner whose vessel is drifted, by 
the violence of the tempest, from the shore, tossed to 
and fro upon the ocean, and at last suffers wreck and 
destruction ; but like one who is ready for the voyage, 
and, the moment v the wind is favorable, cheerfully 
weighs anchor, and, full of hope and joy, launches forth 
into the deep. The pious monk Staupitz, says : Die as 
Christ did, and then, beyond all doubt, your death will 
be good and blessed. But how, then, did Christ die ? 
No, man. He Himself says, taketh My life from Me, but 
I lay it down Myself;^ and St. Luke tells us that, when 
the time was come that He should be received up, He 
steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem ; that is, He 
took the way to it with a confident and cheerful heart, 
and an intrepid look. Let us follow this great Foreruu 
ner ; and, that we may do it with alacrity and confidence, 
and be at all times ready, let us so order our affairs, 
that, when we come to die, we may have nothing else to 

1 John X. 18. 



do. Thus should it be with me while I write, and thus 
with jou while you read my words. 

Lord Jesus, beloved Saviour ! do Thou Thyself make 
us ready. 

• 00^0400 


CHRIST IxlN gentleman and his lady had 
ntfi. presented to a church a new and costly altar, 
tastefully carved, and richly decorated with 
gold. Gotthold, having gone with a friend 
to inspect it, observed : It greatly delights me 
to see that the love of the Lord Jesus Christ is still 
felt, and still proclaimed before the world, by monu- 
ments like this. Our dearly-beloved Saviour has, in 
tlie venerable sacrament of the Supper, instituted a 
memorial of His love for us. Why should not we, 
according to our means, and prompted by a believing 
and grateful heart, bequeath a monument of reciprocal 
affection to Him ? I remember the vrords of a pious 
Jew, who says, " Were the entire globe to be suddenly 
converted into a lump of gold, and the liands of skilful 
artists forthwith to construct it into mansions and tem- 
ples, it would still be unfit even for the footstool of our 
Lord." And what is all the gold of the world, com- 


pared to tlie blood and love of the Lord Jesus Christ ? 
Know, however, tliat the very humblest among His 
holy and believing friends can erect a better and more 
costly altar than this. The Jew annexes to the words 
which we have quoted, " That, nevertheless, the holy 
soul is God's favorite habitation ; " and I will say, that 
the penitent and believing heart is the most beautiful 
of altars. Such an altar, however, every godly man 
can erect, without expense ; and, coiisequently, even 
poverty dias no excuse for refusing it. 

Well then. Lord Jesus, make an altar of my heart, 
and let it be consecrated in faith and love wholly and 
exclusively to Tln^ service. Here will I offer to Thee 
my understanding, will, and memory — my tears, sighs, 
and prayers ; and tluis be at once both altar and priest. 


LARGE sum had been remitted to Gotthold, 
^(\^ for one of the members of his family, by a bill 
^^3^2^ of exchange. When the money was being 
paid, he observed on the countenances of the 
' bystanders the astonishment commonly felt, 
especially by the young, at the sight of so considerable 



a quantity of coin, and took occasion to say : Learn in 
youth to withstand the fascination of money, and not 
to contemplate it with pleasure or appetence, as if it 
were some excellent and precious thing. It is, in fact, 
guttering earth, and nothing more. Unstable and fugi- 
tive, it flits from one to another, and is like the with- 
ered leaves which the wind drives to and fro, and col- 
lects here in one heap, there in another. I know not 
whether there exists such a thing as a coin stamped 
with a pair of pinions ; but I Avish this were the device 
which monarchs put upon their dollars and ductits, to 
show that riches make to themselves wings and fly 
away. Even, however, if wealth were more permanent, 
in what respect is man the better for it ? The rich have 
little advantage over their poorer brethren in the chief 
things of this life. They are born like others ; like 
them, they eat and drink — greater dainties, perhaps, 
but with less appetite, and no other efiect than allaying 
hunger ; like them, they wear raiment, which answers 
no other purpose than to cover and protect the body ; 
like them, they are fretted with cares, and to a greater 
degree, because desire is wont to grow with possession ; 
like them, too, they sicken, and like them they die. 
They must then part with all their money, and little 
good will it do them before the judgment-seat of Christ 
to have once possessed it. The rich give their children 
gold and silver pieces to play with ; other children have 
only counters for the purpose, or manufacture money 


for themselves, of bits of paper and broken pottery. 
But the one chiki grows weary of the game, and goes 
to bed quite as soon as the other. It is the same with 
us old men : Life is a game, and, whatever our play- 
things may be, we must part with them at last, and 
resign them into the hands of others. Let us, there- 
fore, learn to look upon money with disdain, and to 
reflect, when we see it. Of what use will it be to me 
on a death-bed, or when arraigned at the tribunal of 
Christ ? The more of it I have, the greater my respon- 
sibility. God is better than gold ; rather let me be 
rich in Him, than rich in the world and its things. If 
riches, however, be allotted to you, forget not to trans- 
fer some portion of them, by bills of exchange, to 
heaven, in order that, when you yourself follow, you 
may find a provision laid up there. Bestow your money 
on the needy members of Christ. They will give you, 
in return, their pious sighs and intercessions as a bill 
of exchange, which will be accepted in heaven, and, as 
merchants say, paid at sight. This is the best method 
of insuring property, and enjoying it even when life is 
past. But, alas I as an excellent doctor of our own day 
observes, God has little credit in the world. He says : 
Give, and it shall be given unto you. But no one will 
accept the security, alleging, What I have, I have ; what 
I may get, who can tell ? But if thou, world ! wilt 
not trust God and His Word, I, for my part, will do it 
cheerfully ; and time will shovr which of us fares the best. 




(Y^^^ENTION having been made of some one 
-irjt who had received a considerable inheritance, 
one of the compa^ny remarked that it would 
be a comfortable pillow for him ; meaning 
that, with such affluent means, he would 
now have no occasion to vex his mind, or disturb 
his rest with cares. Said Gotthold : And so you 
fancy that the softest kind of pillow on which to 
rest the head is a bag of money. What if I could 
prove that they sleep least who have most money, 
and that, with great riches, there is often little rest. 
We all know the story of the Emperor Sigismund, 
who, having on one occasion received forty thousand 
ducats, and lain awake the whole of the following 
night, thinking how to spend them, made it his first 
business in the morning to distribute them among 
the most deserving of his courtiers. Experience 
shows us that wealth is often accompanied by ava- 
rice, than which there is no greater foe to sleep. 
Granting, however, that a large fortune is a com- 
fortable pillow to a man while he lives, what will 
it do for him when ho comes to die ? Let me also 
remind you that there is also kind of pillow, 



— I mean a false trust in the divine grace and mercy, 
or in the sincerity of our faith, or in the pardon of 
our sins, or in a death-bed repentance, or in our right 
to eternal life, — of which many a wicked man, though 
continuing in presumptuous sins, ventures to boast. 
This pillow is prepared by Satan, who can transform 
himself not only into an angel of light, but also into 
a comforter. He suckles his children with false hope, 
sings to them a sweet song, and rocks them into the 
sleep of security. May God, in His mercy, preserve 
us from such a pillow as this ! 



|ELIEYERS and good men, continued Gott- 
hold, have the best of all pillows ; and that 
is the bosom of Jesus, which they find 
the grace of God, rest for their souls, and 
peace to their consciences. They are like 
children who, after having walked all day in filial 
obedience, when evening comes, kiss their parents' 
hand, receive their blessing, go to bed with them 
in the same chamber, and calmly and securely fall 




asleep under their eye. He who, in faith, has re- 
clined his head npon the breast and heart of Jesus, 
resigned himself wholly to God, and learned to trust 
in His fatherly goodness and care, and to keep a con- 
science pure and void of offence, cannot but sleep 
quietly ; for, though his body wake, his soul reposes 
upon this pillow, and is undisturbed. 


OTTHOLD further said: A good man, when 
he happened to be overtaken by adversity, and 
felt his head and heart harassed with anxi- 
eties, used to take the Bible, read and 
searched in it until he came to some comforting text 
suitable to his case ; and then, with his head upon 
the book, pondered and inwardly digested the words 
until he fell asleep. On awakening, he generally 
found that his cares were gone, resigned himself to 
the fatherly will of God, and thus found comfort and 
rest for his soul. What think you of such a pillow 
as this ? 



Lord Jesus ! Thou art the refuge of my soul, the 
pillow of my head, the comfort and portion of my 
heart. Wide as it is, the world is not large enough 
to be my place of rest. When Thou didst become 
man, and enter it as a babe. Thou wert content to 
lie in a manger.^ Nor was it a hard bod, as we 
miglit fancy ; for it was spread for Thee by Thy 
Father's will, and Thy own love to man. For me, 
let them spread the couch, in this world, how and 
where they please ; in the sacred will of my God, 
and the love of Jesus Christ, I will tranquilly repose. 

■ — UO>®c;c>o — 


EARING a young lady highly praised for her 
beauty. Gotthold asked : What kind of beauty 
do you mean ? — merely that of the body, or 
that also of the mind ? I see well that you 
have been looking no further than the sign 
which nature displays outside the house, but have ricvcr 
asked for the host who dwells within. Beauty is an 
excellent gift of God, nor has the pen of the Holy 
Spirit forgotten to speak its praise ; but it is virtuous 

1 Luke ii. 7. 




and godly beauty alone which Scripture honors, ex- 
pressly declaring, on the other hand, that a fair woman 
which is without discretion is as a jewel of gold in a 
swine's snout.^ Many a pretty girl is like the flower 
called the imperial crown, which is admired, no doubt, 
for its showy appearance, but despised for its unpleasant 
odor. Were her mind as free from pride, selfishness, 
luxury, and levity, as her countenance from spots or 
wrinkles, and could she govern her inward inclinations 
as she does her external carriage, she would have none 
to match her. But who loves the caterpillar, and such 
insects, however showy their appearance, and bright 
and variegated the colors that adorn them, seeing they 
injure and defile the trees and plants on which they 
settle ? What the better is an apple for its rosy skin, 
if the maggot have penetrated and devoured its heart ? 
What care I for the beautiful brown of the nut, if it be 
worm-eaten, and fill the mouth with corruption ? Even 
so, external beauty of person deserves no praise, unless 
matched with the inward beauty of virtue and holiness. 
It is, therefore, far better to acquire beauty than to be 
born with it. The best kind is that which does not 
wither at the touch of fever, like a flower, but lasts and 
endures on a bed of sickness, in old age, and even at 

My God ! my beauty exists only in the sunshine of 
Thy grace. Without light, nothing is beautiful ; and, 

1 Proverbs xi. 22. 



unless irradiated by Thy goodness, every object is ugly 
and hideous. Lord Jesus ! Thou fairest of the sons of 
men ! shed on my poor soul the beams of Thy love ; that 
is all the beauty I desire. j 

OO^OO i 




ISITING a painter, who was both a skilful , 
artist and a pious Christian, Gotthold said : A 
painter requires, by long and repeatedly view- 
ing the countenance he has to paint, to impress i 
it, in the first instance, on his heart, in order j 
afterwards, as far as possible, to produce it with colors j 
upon the canvas. And, in the same way, it is upon j 
the heart that the image of Jesus Christ must first be | 
formed, and then afterwards transferred into a holy life, > 
and an affectionate and godly walk. Once impressed | 
upon the heart, it will soon show itself in the thoughts, | 
words, actions, and gestures. And, in this work, never ! 
must we grow weary or dispirited. A picture is not 
painted at a stroke, but is brought by slow degrees, 
after many sittings, and with cautious touches, to per- 
fection. To have the Saviour formed in his heart, and j 
copied into his life, is a task which will last the Chris- j 



tian all his days ; and, oh me ! how many interruptions 
■will he meet, and how often will what has cost him 
much painful labor be obliterated ! We must not, 
however, be discouraged, remembering that our very 
errors are lessons, and that perfection is the offspring 
of imperfection. 

Lord Jesus! deign to accept our poor efforts and 
good-will ; and do Thou Thyself impress Thine image 
upon our liearts, that it may also be outwardly recog- 
nized in our good conversation. 



©nig Cljiltr. 

^^^^ MAR RIED couple, of rank and fortune, had 
an only son, and, as usually happens in such 
cases, loved and admired him to excess. He 
was the delight of their eyes and the comfort 
of their hearts. They would not permit the 
cold wind to blow, nor an unfriendly face to look upon 
him, and in all things gave him his will. Gotthold saw 
this, and remarked : Beware how you provoke God to 
jealousy, and, by the intemperance of your affection, 
vitally injure your son! Do you fancy that the Most 
High has given you an idol to make you forget Him- 
self ? It would be strange conduct for a bride, having 



received a picture from lier bridegroom, were she to 
become so enamored of the gift as to lose all thought 
of the giver ; and yet this is what you do. God has 
given you your child, that the sight of him, from time 
to time, might remind you of His goodness, and induce 
you to praise Him with filial reverence. You, however, 
have set your hearts so wholly upon your son, that I 
know not whether you have any leisure to think of your 
Heavenly Father. This is like the fondness of apes, 
which caress and kiss their offspring to death. It is like 
the ivy or hop twining around the young and fruitful 
tree, till at last they strangle it. Let it be your study 
to rear and possess not a son merely, but likewise a 
godly son. Indulging a child is like exposing a cask to 
the sun or hot air : it slirinks, and if it do not fall to 
pieces, at least becomes incapable of holding liquid. In 
the same way, parental affection, when carried to excess, 
and unrestrained by reason and piety, is the ruin of chil- 
dren, and renders them unfit for all sound doctrine and 

After pausing for a while. Gotthold continued, and 
said : This only son of yours reminds me that man has 
but one soul.^ Oh ! how desirable that it were as much 
the object of his love and attention, as your son is of 
yours ! In truth, however, many act as recklessly as 
if they had ten souls in reserve, not reflecting that by 
losing the one, they lose all, and that all forever. 

1 Psalm xxii. 20, 



Besides, my God ! I have also to consider that my 
soul is not my own, but Thine. Thou hast purchased it 
with the blood of Thy Son, and ought I to steal from 
Thee what has cost Thee so great a price ? And yet, my 
Father, I am quite unfit for the custody of so precious 
a jewel. Too surely would I neglect and lose it. Thou 
Thyself must best know how to keep what has cost 
Thee so dear. 




OTTHOLD had to do with a will in which his 
family were concerned, and which caused him 
all kinds of trouble and inconvenience. Con- 
versing on the subject with an influential friend, 
he said : It is much to be deplored that that 
equity for v/hich the widow prayed is now no longer to 
be found, and that, as the Scriptures express it, judg- 
ment is turned to wormwood, and righteousness cast to 
the ground.^ Gentlemen of the law appear to me, for 
the most part, to be like persons wandering in a forest, 
who have been so perplexed amongst the bushes and 
brakes, that they can no longer find their way out. 

1 Amos V. 7. Luth. vers. 



What sort of grapes they gather from the thorns, and 
figs from the thistles, it is easy to conceive. 

There is, however, another Testament, about which 
I shall concern myself more ; I mean that which the 
Saviour w^rote shortly before His decease, and in which 
He nominated believers His heirs. He had never either 
cared or sought for temporal things, and became at last 
so poor as not to have even a coat ; and therefore He 
could not bequeath to them wealth. All He possessed 
was His cross, His thorny crow^n, His blood. His Holy 
Spirit, His sweet consolations, and His loving heart. 
These, therefore. He has left to us ; and I rejoice in the 
bequest. Satan would fain dispute the Will ; but it is 
well attested, and I have already entered into possession 
of the property. 

o 0^0« . 


%mi\n mm. 

fN order not to appear ungrateful, proceeded Gbtt- 
hold, I too will indite and leave behind me a 
e^,^^ testament. I recollect a story, told by one 
heathen of another, in the following terms : 
Eudamidas, a citizen of Corinth, died in pov- 
erty ; but, having two wealthy friends, Arct^us and 



Charixcnus, he left behind him the following testament: 
111 virtuc of this my last will, I bequeath to Arctseus my 
aged mother, to be taken home to his house, and sup- 
ported for the remainder of her life ; to Charixenus I 
bequeath my daughter, to be portioned and honorably 
fitted out by him, to the best of his ability. In tlie 
event, however, of either of the two dying, my will is, 
that the survivor shall supply the place of the deceased. 
This testament occasioned much mirth and laugliter. 
The two legatees, however, were pleased with the testi- 
mony it gave of the confidence reposed in them by their 
departed friend ; and as, in the course of a few days, 
Charixenus departed this life, Arctasus undertook the 
double trust, and affectionately executed it. If heathens, 
then, thus trusted, and showed themselves so faith- 
ful to each other, even after their decease, why should 
not I cherish a far greater confidence in the most faith- 
ful of all friends, my beloved Master, Jesus ? I hereby, 
therefore, nominate Him my sole heir, bequeatliing and 
consigning to Him, first, my soul, and next, my chil- 
dren, sisters, blood relations, and acquaintances, that He 
may adopt, protect, keep, and provide for them, by His 
miglity power unto salvation. The whole residue of the 
estate which I leave behind me in the world, shall be 
entrusted to His holy counsel and will, that He may do 
and deal with it as He lists, to the advancement of His 
glory, and the salvation of those I leave behind. 




CHILD, after a full meal, had asked a slice 
of bread, and, sitting down, broke it into 
crumbs. Here, said Gotthold, see the con- 
sequences of superfluity, and* what harm it 
does our corrupt nature to have more than 
it needs. This child, if hungry, would cat the whole- 
some bread with relish, and not willingly lose a 
crumb. Now, however, that he is satisfied, he plays 
with it, and wastes it. And we older children do 
the same. Hard times are best for teaching us econ- 
omy and the prudent and grateful use of the gifts 
of God. Superfluity has always an attendant, whose 
name is prodigality ; and never are more sins com- 
mitted than when God is most generous to the world, 
and pours out His blessings like an overflowing flood. 
On the other hand, never do men look so often or 
so earnestly to heaven, as when the bread-basket is 
lifted above their reach, and dearth teaches them how 
precious is the Divine blessing. 

Merciful God! I cannot say how it would be best 
to treat the world. For when Thou givest little, it 
murmurs and complains : and when Thou givest much, 
vaunts and plays the fool. my Father! exercise 



forbearance with its folly. For my own part, I will 
desire neither poverty nor riches, neither want nor 
abundance. In either condition, I have no confi- 
dence in myself. One thing, however, I know I 
wish, — give me, my Father! what is agreeable to 
Thy will. 



^C?A^NE morning, as Gotthold was pouring water into 
QU) I) a basin, he recollected the words of Scripture : 
(O^vO I will wash mine hands in innocency^ — a text 
^■^^(7 which shows how diligently the Royal Prophet 
had endeavored to lead a blameless life, and 
walk habitually in the fear of God. Upon this he 
mused, and said : Henceforth, my God, every time I 
pour out water to wash with, I will call to mind that it 
is my duty to cleanse my hands from wicked actions, 
my mouth from wicked words, and my heart from 
wicked lusts and desires, that so I may be enabled to 
lift up holy hands unto Thee, and with unspotted lips 
and heart worship Thee, to the best of my ability. 
"What will it profit me to strive after outward purity. 

1 Psalm xxvi. 6. 



if my heart is filthy and abominable in Thy sight ? Can 
the food nourish me which I have earned with polluted 
hands, or seized with violence and injustice, or eaten 
with insensibility and ingratitude ? Ah, no, my God ! 
far from me be food like this. My first care shall be to 
maintain a blameless walk ; my next, when I have 
thoughtlessly defiled myself, to cleanse and wash away 
the stain, and remove mine iniquity from Thine eyes. 
Purge me, my God, and I shall be clean ; wash me, 
and I shall be whiter than snow.^ 


I NE gold. Gotthold proceeded, is not all equally 
pure and sterling, but more or less coated with 
dross, from which it must be purified by the 
ji^Ä^ fire. The finest wheat has a mixture of chaff, 
^ which, when fanned, it leaves behind. We en- 
dure the bad for the sake of the good in other things ; 
why should we not act upon the same principle with our 
fellow-men ? In persons who are virtuous and worthy, 
all is not worth and virtue ; among the bad, we must 
reckon him to be the best who has the fewest faults. 

i Psalm li. 7. 



Mj God ! in Thy presence I have nothing to say, but 
that of all sinners, I am the chief. In the sight of men, 
however, it is enough if they can discover some one 
good point, for whose sake to be indulgent to my faults, 
as I am to theirs. As for those who fancy that they 
have no faults with which to soil their neighbor's 
fingers, and are all kernel, I leave Thee to be their 
judge, who art the Judge of all the earth. 


= oo^^Oo 


MAN was often complaining of the annoyance 
of an enemy, plainly showing that his heart was 
filled with hatred, and that, were opportunity to 
offer, he would not neglect to retaliate the hos- 
tility. This person Gotthold took aside and 
thus admonishe^: You are always talking of your 
enemy, but be assured that he to whom you give the 
name can do you no harm, so long as you trust in God, 
and follow after that which is good. Be upon your 
guard against yourself Open enemies are far less dan- 
gerous than secret ones. The carnal man is really hos- 



tile to himself, when he indulges hatred, and meditates 
revenge against those of whose hostility he complains, 
inasmuch as he thereby makes an enemy of God, who 
hates all implacable and malevolent dispositions. With 
consideration, your supposed enemy may become the 
means of doing you so much good, that you will have 
reason to esteem him as your friend, and thank God on 
his account. An enemy is often like a medicine, which 
at first sickens and disorders the stomach, but after- 
wards removes the malady, and restores the health. An 
enemy teaches us to walk circumspectly ; we must al- 
ways be afraid of his sharp and hostile observation, and 
know that he will mark our halting, and publish it 
abroad to our shame and injury. An enemy impels us 
to prayer, and teaches us to place a higher value upon 
the friendship of God. An enemy exercises us in 
patience, confirms our faith, tests our charity, implants 
meekness, crushes pride, weans us from the world, and 
sweetens to us the prospects of heaven. Unless the fire 
and hammer do their part, the shapeless lump of gold 
can never become the goblet which graces a monarch's 
table ; and just as little, without tribulation, can carnal 
men be converted into pious Christians. Look less, 
then, at the hammer than at the hand which wields it 
for your good. My God I how shall I thank Thee, for 
having made even the wrath and bitterness, the slander 
and envy, of my enemies subservient to my best inter- 
ests ! They thought it for evil against me, but Thou 



hast turned their malice into the means of my edifica- 
tion. The world's enmity has made Thee and me the 
best of friends. 


OTT HOLD, hearing that several relatives were 
soon to meet, for the purpose of dividing a con- 
siderable inheritance, took occasion to say to 
them : Take heed that you do not divide 
hearts as well as property. The eye of a man often 
looks askance, when others attempt to share with him 
that of which he would fain appropriate the whole. A 
philosopher not improperly calls self-love a dissoh^ent, 
because it often disunites the hearts of the nearest rel- 
atives, and converts their love into hatred. In Paris, 
not many years ago, two gentlemen, at the division of 
a property of which they had been left joint heirs, pro- 
ceeded from words to blows, when one of them killed 
the other with a pestle, and afterwards cut his own 
throat. In this way, Satan came in for a share. I 
myself was once present at the implementing of a will, 
when the minds of the relations became exasperated to 



such a pitch, that they broke to pieces the most costly 
vessels, and tore into shreds beautiful tapestries and 
hangings, neither wishing to give anything to the other. 
Nor did they ever afterwards in their lives meet or 
exchange words. cursed wealth ! of which the devil 
makes an apple of discord. unhallowed inheritance I. 
which breaks the bond of Christian love, and forfeits 
the inheritance in heaven. 


(^^^^JjOY^J) Saviour, Gotthold proceeded, most 
IQMIP unjustly did the world divide with Thee. It 
VVj^^ gave Thee only what Thou couldst not like — 
o^Ö^ poverty, contempt, disgrace, the cross, the 
* thorny crown, the scourge; and yet Thou 
didst not demur, fully satisfied with Thy Father's love 
and holy will. And still it does the same. Small is 
the share of the good things that perish which falls to 
the believer's lot. Generally it is little greater than 
Thine. But with this he is content, anticipating an- 
other division which will take place at death, and in 
which body and soul, wealth, honor, and all else will 



be divided, and nothing left to man but what he shall 
have treasured in his inmost soul. Happy he who shall 
then be able to say, the Lord is my portion and mine 
inheritance. For myself, I shall easily arrange shares 
with the world. It will give to me my crucified and 
insulted Saviour, with His poverty and thorny crown, 
and I will let it keep the rest. We shall then be quits. 


ONTINUING, Gotthold said: Alas, ye chil- 
dren of men ! why do you so fondly love the 
world ? Wliy forsake the fountains of living 
waters, and hew out cisterns, broken cisterns 
that can hold no water ? ^ Why spend money 
for that which is not bread, and labor for that which 
satisfieth not?^ Why forsake the God of all consola- 
tion, and set your heart upon the world, which is like 
the apple of Sodom, beautiful to look upon, but in- 
wardly full of ashes ; or not less like decayed timber, 
which, no doubt, glistens in the dark, as if it were 
some precious thing, or replete with fire, but disap- 

1 Jer. Ü. 13. 2 Isaiah Iv. 2. 



points him who stoops to pick it up, or hopes that it 
will warm his hands ? 

Jesus, my Lord ! Thou hast the words of eternal 
life ; ^ Thou hast strong and lasting consolation ; Thou 
hast a loving heart, lips to comfort, and hands to help. 
With Thee there is both counsel and might. I have 
often found the world false, but never Thee. Thou art 
an unfading flower of strength and refreshment, and 
with Thee is the fountain of life that never runs dry. 
Let who will then forsake Thee : for mj part I have no 
wish, and know as little where, to better my condition. 
Be this, then, my resolution forever : Jesus, I will not 
forsake Thee. 



NE day a wasp had entered Gotthold's study, 
and for a time fluttered and buzzed before the 
window. At last he rose, caught it, and cut it 
into three parts. He then observed, with as- 
tonishment, that these three parts — the head, 
the breast and wings, the stomach and sting — although 
wholly separate from each other, had all, nevertheless, 

1 Jolir. vi. 67, 68. 



life in them. The head, when touched ^vitli a straw, 
still retained the power of catching it with, its teeth, 
and suspending itself from it ; the breast with tlie 
wings fluttered continually round and round, without 
being able to rise ; the stomach, when touched, was in- 
stantly ready with the sting. This reminded him that 
he had read of St. Augustine's having once witnessed a 
similar phenomenon, and of his being unable to under- 
stand how the several parts into which an insect was 
cut, could still crawl about like the whole of it. Gott- 
liold was equally at a loss to explain how the soul, so 
to speak, could be dissected like the body. But he 
soon said to himself: This may at least help me to 
comprehend how it is possible for the damned to suffer 
everlasting death, and yet never cease to live. We 
cannot doubt that when delivered into the hands of 
devils, they will be treated with tlie utmost cruelty, 
and, as I suppose, sorely mutilated, not to terminate 
their existence, but only to augment their pain, as every 
limb apart will suffer as much as the whole body when 
entire. They will thus be always dyhig, and yet will 
never die, but live in everlasting death. 

As this wasp's head, even after death, if one may so 
say, attempts to bite, and the tail to sting, so the 
damned will forever retain their hatred against God 
and man, and so their everlasting malice Avill justly 
entail upon them everlasting anguish. Ah me ! eter- 
nity ! eternity ! This is tlie worst of all the terrors of 



hell. Tliat which has an end, however dreadful other- 
wise, admits of hope and consolation ; but where shall 
an end be found to an endless eternity ! How blind, 
tlien, we are to forget hell as we do, especially as the 
best means to escape, is to meditate frequently upon it ! 



AYING taken a clock to pieces for the purpose 
of cleaning it, all manner of thoughts entered 
Gottliold's mind while afterwards engaged in 
again putting it together. He noticed as no 
inconsiderable, although an almost unnoticed 
blessing, that God has given to men an invention so in- 
genious and useful, enabling them as it does correctly 
to divide their time, and employ it in profitable labors, 
and especially reminding them, by every hour that 
strikes, of the vain and fleeting nature of life, and the 
rapid approach of death. At last, it seemed to him to 
present a beautiful emblem of Christianity. A clock, 
he said, when in good order, is always going, and one 
wheel propelling another ; and even so must true 
Christianity be in continual exercise, and every act of 



godliness make way for the next. As a clock, however, 
needs to be constantly hispected, and frequently set and 
cleaned, so God, in His faithfulness and long-suffering, 
has continual work to do, amending, purifying, and 
regulating our Christianity. Moreover, as a clock docs 
not go without a proportional weight, so the practice of 
piety likewise comes to a stop unless the Most Higli 
append the cross to our heart. In doing this, however, 
He takes care to burden no one above his ability. 

Thou faithful God ! let my Christianity be always 
under Thy gracious inspection. Unless Thou set, pu- 
rify, and regulate it, it will never go well. Append to 
it as much of the cross as Thou mayest judge right, or 
it may require. Thou art merciful, and wilt not im- 
pose a greater burden than I can bear. 



Sbont Mint. 

tOTTHOLD had a bottle of sweet wine, and 
his child expressing, as children do, a wish to 
■ ^ '>cr^^ tsiste it, he poured a little into his cup, gave 
it him to drink, and inquired : How do you 
like it? To this the child replied: Sweet. He then 



asked, How sweet is it ? and received again the same 
answer, Sweet, sweet ; at which he smiled, and ob- 
served : And so all that you can say is, tliat it is sweet. 
Ah, my God ! he proceeded, sweet also is Thy grace, 
and delectable the drops of Thy goodness ! This I feel 
and taste in spirit and faith ; but were I asked how 
sweet and delectable they are, I should be quite as un- 
able as this child to say more than that Thy grace is 
sweet. Its sweetness, in fact, is better experienced 
than expressed. I feel in my heart, and taste some- 
thing in my soul which penetrates the bones and mar- 
row, and is of all delights the most deliglitful, and of 
all sweetnesses the sweetest. So sweet is it that it kills 
all bitterness, and that I can neither conceive nor do- 
scribe it. And yet, my God ! they are but a few drops 
of Thy love and grace, which thus baffle my under- 
standing and my tongue. How then will it be in 
heaven, when Thou shalt give me to drink of them in 
mighty floods ! infinite God ! Thy sweetness and 
felicity are infinite like Thyself ! When will it be my 
lot to behold Thy face, and taste the full measure of 
Thy sweetness ! Wert Thou to convert all seas and 
rivers, all lakes, ponds, and fountains, into wormwood 
and gall, and pour the whole upon my head, a drop oi* 
two of Thy love and goodness would be enough to 
sweeten and render it delightful. Vouchsafe to me in 
this present life as much of Thy sweetness as shall 
seem right to Thee, and be profitable to me. In the 


life to come, I shall be content to gather, beneath the 
table of tlie elect, the crumbs of Thy grace, and the 
drops of Thy goodness, and through all eternity never 
ask for more. 



HEN inspecting a row of bee-hives. Gotthold 
discovered under one of them a number of 
ash-colored, red-headed grubs, scattered upon 
the ground, which the bees had killed and 
carried out. On asking an old bee-cultivator 
the explanation of this, he was told that the busy bees 
occasionally lighted upon a noxious plant, sucked from 
it an unwholesome juice, which they brought to the 
hive, and from which these grubs were produced. 
Gotthold mused, and said : If that be the case, it 
furnishes an excellent emblem of ill-gotten gain. 
Many a man, like a bee, labors hard to earn his 
livelihood. The desire of increasing his fortune, 
however, induces him to light indiscriminately and 
thoughtlessly upon every llower : — l)y whicli I mean, 
that he adopts all expedients, just and unjust, to en- 



rich himself; shuts his eyes to the good of his neigh- 
bor ; and so adds to his hoard many a penny bur- 
dened with the curses and sighs, the blood and tears, 
of the poor. Ere long, however, such unhallowed 
gain breeds worms and maggots, and these gnaw and 
devour his conscience and good name, his fortune and 
family. The Word of God tells us this when it says, 
In the revenues of the wicked is trouble.^ 

Keep me. Thou righteous God, from ever seeking 
my own advantage to the detriment of others ; that 
so, instead of possessing a treasure and provision, I 
may not carry about a gnawing worm in my con- 
science and estate. What would it profit me were I 
to gain the whole world, and lose my own soul ? ^ 


C^t ihr. 

EEING a hearse standing at a door, Gotthold 
concluded that there was a corpse in the house, 
and that it was about to be interred. Re- 
minded thereby of his own mortality, he said 
to himself : Perhaps this is the very bier which 
will one day bear thee to thy grave ; and, whether 
or not, at least the wood is already grown from which 

1 Prov. XV. 6. 

2 Matt. xvi. 26. 



thine shall be made. Wherefore, man ! be prepared 
to die, and so live that, when monrners are bearing 
thy body to the grave, angels may be bearing thy 
soul to heaven. Continuing his reflections, Alas ! 
said ho, were such a bier to be stationed at the 
door of every house which contains the dead, where 
could boards be found to make enough of them? 
For, alas ! many a man is dead while lie liveth ; yea, 
all are dead wdio live in impenitence and presump- 
tuous sins. God is the soul of our soul, and the life 
of our life ; and Christ must dwell in our heart by 
faith, and be the heart of our heart, to enable us 
to say, with St. Paul, I live ; yet not I, but Christ 
liveth in me.^ Just as the heart is the workshop 
of the soul, from which it distributes natural heat 
and vital energy into all the veins and members ; 
even so must the Lord Jesus generate in us spirit- 
ual life, and diffuse His Spirit into all our powers, 
senses, desires, thoughts, and motions. Where this 
is not done, there is no life. The ungodly man is 
a living corpse ; the worm of sinful desire consumes 
his conscience ; he is an abomination in the eyes of 
the Saviour, and offensive to God and the holy an- 
gels. As ravens rejoice over carrion, so infernal 
spirits exult over the soul that is dead in sin ; and 
where is the house in which such a soul may not be 
found ? 

1 Gal. ii. 20. 



Jesus, my Lord, unless Thou deign to live within 
me, it were better for me to die at once. Be Thou my 
life, or I care not to live a moment longer, 


EEING a ropemaker at his work, Gotthold 
looked on for a while in silence, and then 
said : Holy Scripture compares sins to cords,^ 
and with great propriety ; for, as a rope is 
twined from many threads, so is sin very rarely 
single ; but one grows out of another, and often the 
new is committed to cover or excuse the old. Wicked 
suggestions are the first threads, the cherishing of 
these with satisfaction the second, the sinful purpose 
the third ; the execution of it then twists the cord, 
and perseverance in it binds the sinner to his ruin 
For instance, it sometimes happens that a man will 
secretly purloin something from his neighbor: this is 
one sin. Suspected, and questioned upon the subject, 
he denies the fact; this is a second. Expostulated 
with, he curses and swears ; this is a third. Offended 

1 Prov. V. 22; Isa. v. 18. 

280 THE VINE. 

by the expostulation, he conceives an implacable hatred 
against his accuser, and slanders him in every possible 
way ; this is a fourth and fifth. And, lastly, he keeps 
the stolen property, and prefers losing his soul to the 
infamy consequent upon restoring it. Ah, me ! what a 
strong cord of the devil have we here ! and how few 
there are who can disentangle themselves from it ! 
And as this ropemaker is always moving backwards, 
while he has his work in front, and lengthens out 
the cord as he goes, even so do most men persevere 
in their sins, and look as little to the consequences 
as they can see what is behind them. 



FRIEND complained to Gotthold of the weak- 
ness of his faith, and the distress this gave him. 
^g)^ Gotthold pointed to a vine which had twined 
and fastened itself around a pole, and was 
hanging loaded with beautiful clustGJ's, and 
said : Frail is that plant ; but wliat harm is done to it 
by its frailty, especially as the Creator has been pleased 
to make it what it is ? As little will it prejudice your 



faith, that it is weak, provided only it be sincere and 
unfeigned. Faith is the work of God, and He bestows 
it in such measure as He wills and judges right. Let 
the measure of it which He has given you, be deemed 
sufficient by you. Take for pole and prop the Cross of 
tlie Saviour and the Word of God. Twine around these 
with all the power which God vouchsafes. A heart sen- 
sible of its weakness, and prostrating itself continually 
with humble sighs at the feet of the Divine mercy, is 
more acceptable than that Vvdiich presumes upon the 
strength of its faith, and falls into security and pride. 
Can you suppose that the sinful woman who lay and 
wept at the Lord's feet, was less approved than the 
swelling and haughty Pharisee ? ^ 



EING one of the company at a banquet, Gott- 
hold proposed, for their diversion, the question, 
What is the best dish which a host can present 
to his guests ? To this one replied : The famil- 
iar and improving conversation of good friends, 
appealing to the words of the wise monarch : Better is 

1 Luke vii. 38. 



a dinner of herbs, where love is, than a stalled ox, and 
hatred therewith.^ Another said : The best dish seems 
to me to be the courtesy and tidiness of the lady of the 
house ; for, if she change her face, and darken her coun- 
tenance like sackcloth, or give any ground for the suspi- 
cion that the hands which dressed it were not clean, there 
is little pleasure or relish even in the costliest fare. Said 
a third : The best dish is that which is first offered to a 
hungry man ; for the reason why the voluptuary can 
find, among the many which are served, scarcely one to 
please him, is, that he eats sooner and more than neces- 
sity requires, and never uses hunger as a sauce to his 
food. In the opinion of a fourth, the best dish was an 
open and generous heart on the part of the host ; for, 
if the guest have the slightest ground to suppose that he 
has not been willingly or disinterestedly invited, or that 
he is grudgingly entertained, or that his words are 
marked and treasured up, he will have little relish for 
any of the dishes. Gotthold then took up the word, 
and added : There is certainly reason in your answers, 
but I too will say what I think. The best dish is that 
which has been earned by fair means and with a good 
conscience, is enjoyed with gratitude and reverence 
towards God, and of which the poor beggar at the gate 
receives his share : For how,can any dish be called good ^ 
which is seasoned with the tears and sighs of oppressed 
Christians, and with the Divine malediction ? No dish 

1 Proverbs xv. 17. 



is good which does not do the eater good ; and what 
good can any dish do which is eaten with such a sauce ? 
Wherever gratitude to God and charity to poor neigh- 
bors are forgotten, the last cup in life's banquet is 
usually quaffed amid the flames of hell, as the rich 
voluptuary experienced.^ 

Lord Jesus ! give me only a crust of bread, but let it 
be bedropped with Tliy blessing, moistened from Thy 
wounds, and sweetened by Thy love : I will gladly share 
it with a needy brother, and desire no other or better 



I AYING inquired of the servants, who had been 
I|j for some time in his family, whether they were 
disposed to remain, Gotthold received for answer, 
that they had no cause of complaint ; knew not 
what better they could do ; and, if he were 
equally satisfied with them, had no wish to change their 
place. Gotthold, on his part, having no ground for dis- 
satisfaction, retained them in his employment. The 
occasion, however, led him to reflect as follows : Be- 
tween master and servant, mistress and maid, there is 

1 Luke xvi. 23. 



no difference but that winch God has made, for a short 
interval in this present world. The stars, though not 
all of one magnitude or brightness, have all places in 
one common heaven : in like manner, we occupy differ- 
ent degrees of honor, rank, and wealth, but have the 
same firmament of grace over our heads — namely, one 
Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of 
all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all/ 
What right, then, have I to despise or injure my domes- 
tics, although they must call me master, and wait my 
command and pleasure ? And what if they shall attain 
to higher degrees of faith, charity, meekness, patience, 
and contentment, than I do ? We read of a hermit 
who had a high notion of his own sanctity. It was re- 
vealed to him, however, that in this respect he was 
greatly inferior to a poor girl, who was waiting-maid at 
an inn. With this person he sought an interview, and, 
having inquired in what her pious deeds and acceptable 
services consisted, was answered, that she was not con- 
scious of any particular sanctity, but tried diligently 
and faithfully to execute the work of the house, and 
the other tasks assigned to her ; and especially made 
it a rule, every time she lifted a bundle of fagots to 
carry it into the kitchen, to meditate with cordial affec- 
tion upon Ilim who, from love to her and all mankind, 
had once borne the tree of the cross. In the same way, 
many a precious stone lies neglected upon the ground, 

1 Eph. iv. 5, 6. 


but nevertheless coiitiiuies to be a precious stone. The 
pearl oyster is rough and unsightly on the outside, but 
beautiful and bright within, and precious for what it 
contains. Even so pious servants are often humble and 
despised in the world's eyes, but great in God's. 

— uo'^OO _ 


NE of Gotthold's friends had got a little scent- 
box, made in the shape of a death's-head, with 
a screw at the skull for opening and taking it 
asunder. It then showed various cells, filled 
with fragrant balm. Being asked why he had 
made the box in this particular shape, he replied: In 
order to have something continually reminding me 
of my mortality. On this Gotthold rejoined : You 
have done well, if such was indeed your object, and 
not rather to possess a curiosity for people to gaze and 
wonder at. The thought of the mortality to which, 
like all your race, you are subjected, may be infinitely 
more profitable to you than all kinds of balm. If 
seized with the delirium of pride, reflect that death 
will one day reduce you to dust and ashes, and wither 



your pomp like a flower. If overcome by angry passion, 
take to heart that death stands behind you with his axe, 
and only waits the signal from God to reduce you in an 
instant to the impotency of a dead gnat. If your heart 
ache, and your head be distracted with cares, recollect 
that all your trouble and anxiety will one day come to 
a blessed end. Oh ! how precious, how fragrant, how 
superlatively sweet a balm it is, upon every emergency 
to remember our mortality ! 

Help me, my God ! continually to live as if I did 
not live, that so at last I may die as if I were not 


(CA^ BSERYING one of his family absorbed in deep 
QU) 11 thought. Gotthold inquired: Why so pensive? 
pjivQ Of what are you thinking ? The answer was : 
^^@L Of nothing. To which he rejoined : It is im- 
possible for a man not to be thinking of some- 
thing. We ought, however, to accustom ourselves to 
have no thoughts but such as we should not be afraid 
to divulge, were we unexpectedly interrogated about 



tliem ; inasmuch as, whatever they are, though hidden 
from men, they cannot be concealed from God. Such 
as the thoughts are, the soul is. The cask, long after 
it has been emptied, retains the scent of the liquor 
with which it was formerly filled ; and in the same way 
do the thoughts leave behind them the trace of their 
nature and quality in the heart. And as wine is never 
put into a foul or fetid cask, so never does God pour his 
grace into the heart which is voluntarily defiled with 
evil thoughts. The thoughts are the soul's pinions, 
with which it wings its way either to heaven or to hell. 
With these it may either, like Noah's dove, light upon 
an olive-tree, and pluck from it a twig ; or, like the 
raven, settle upon a carcass, and defile itself. They 
are the possessions and wealth of the soul, as Job calls 
them.^ This treasure of the heart, however, derives all 
its value from the stamp it bears ; for thoughts not im- 
pressed with the seal of God, the love of Jesus, or the 
marks of His Holy Spirit, must be reckoned false money, 
which will not pass. See, then, well to it, that you 
cherish and harbor no evil thoughts in your heart. I 
do not say that they must never enter, for this would 
be to require too much, and more than, since the fall, 
is possible. The heart is an inn, and, rightfully, no 
thoughts ought to be admitted into it but such as are 
on their way either from or to heaven ; otherwise it 
becomes a licentious haunt, like that of which the Lord 

1 Job xvii. 11, Hebr. 



says : Jerusalem ! how long shall thy vain thoughts 
lodge within thee ? ^ The first stage to actual sin is, 
to think evil thoughts ; the second, to love and cherish 
them. A foreign teacher says that they are the first- 
born children of original sin, and the parents of every 
other kind of it. 

oo^Oo . 


Cljilb framing U Malh. 

HEN just beginning to walk, a child was exer- 
cising its feeble steps, with the help of chairs 
and benches, while the mother sat at some 
distance, and, with endearing words and a 
sight of the breast, enticed it to quit hold, 
and advance to her alone and unsupported. This at 
last it did, cautiously setting one foot before another, 
till it came within her reach, and then, in an ecstasy of - 
delight, fell into her arms. Gotthold watched tlie scene 
with peculiar pleasure, and thought with himself: Most 
beautifully is the divine training of my soul here shad- 
owed forth ! What else is my Christianity but the 
timid tottering of this little one ? What all my perfcc- 

1 Jeremiah iv. 14. 


tion but imperfection felt and deplored? What my 
strength but weakness ? The Saviour, however, acts 
towards me a mother's part, — attracts me with the 
sweet words of His promises, uncovers the breasts of 
His grace and everlasting consolations, and opens and 
extends to me His arms. 

Well, then, Lord Jesus! I will creep if I cannot 
walk ; I will take hold of Thy word. When I stumble, 
Thou wilt support me ; when I fall. Thou wilt hold 
out Thy Cross, and help me with it to rise again, until 
at length I reach the place where Thou art, and with 
all my weaknesses, anxieties, and wants, cast myself 
into Thy bosom. 

-o-o>e>^oo • 


%\t itfaj Bxni of Clotljts. 

LITTLE boy had got a new suit of clothes, of 
which he was excessively proud. Gotthold 
saw him, and, with a smile, said to the family : 
Human nature is very fickle ; it soon tires of 
old things, and is always eager for novelties. 
We relish what is new and strange much more than 
what is old and familiar. The prophet tells us, how- 



ever, that the Lord's compassions are new every morn- 
ing ; which means, as I understand it, that it is every 
morning as fresh and new to our most gracious God to 
do us good, in body and soul, as if He had never done 
it before. He never wearies, never loses the relish for 
it, feels constantly fresh delight in manifesting His 
goodness towards us. Oh, that it were equally fresh 
and new to us to be thankful to Him ! and that, every 
morning, the first sighs and words which escaped from 
our lips were directed to His glory and praise ! To 
this the royal prophet exhorts, saying. Sing unto the 
Lord a new song ; as if he meant. Never let the Lord's 
praise seem to you an old and tiresome work, but think 
it always as fresh and new as if you were engaging in 
it for the first time. Observe, too, how cautiously this 
child now comports himself in his new dress ; whereas 
he cared not how he soiled the old. Even so, never let 
the robe of righteousness, with which Christ has clothed 
us, appear old in our eyes. Ratlier let us feel as if we 
put it on new and fresh every morning ; and let us 
walk cautiously and circumspectly, that we may not 
stain it with presumptuous sins. 

My God ! Thou fountain of all goodness, the more 
we draw from Thy bounty, the larger and fresher is its 
stream. Thou art more willing to give than we are to 
receive. Oh! grant that my heart may be a fountain, 
from which Thy praise and glory may never cease to 




yHE spigot not being properly secured in a water- 
cask, there was a constant dropping into a basin 

which stood upon the ground below. Gott- 
hold saw it, and observed : This seems a very 
trivial circumstance, and yet it may suggest 
to us what ought never to be forgotten as long as we 
live. The rich .man, when tormented in hell, implored 
a single drop of water to cool his burning tongue, but 
implored it in vain.-^ Ah me ! how small a refreshment 
it would have been to one weltering in the fiery flames, 
to receive into his mouth the small quantity of water 
which adheres to the tip of the finger after being dipped 
into a fountain ; and yet it was refused, — intimating 
that in hell no comfort or alleviation, however small, no 
intermission, however brief, can be hoped for. For this 
reason, when we hear the dropping of water, let us re- 
flect on the fleetingness of life. As drop follows drop, 
until the cask is empty, so does hour follow hour, and 
one day or year another, until life is spent. What, then, 
would become of us, if all consolation terminated with 
our breath, and we were never, through all eternity, to 
taste the refreshment of a single drop of water ? 

1 Luke xvi. 23. 



My God ! Thy loving-kindness and tender mercy are 
daily distilled from lieaven in innumerable drops, and 
blessed is the man on whom they fall ! But he who 
contemns or abuses tlie drops of grace in time, does not 
deserve even a drop of water through all eternity. On 
the other hand, he who in this life is satisfied to receive 
Thy grace in drops, shall hereafter be made to drink of 
it as a river 



CIj^ gark lis^l, 

(CTa^NE night, when there was no moon, Gotthold 
^pj) awoke, and finding the darkness so thick that he 
could not, as the saying goes, see his hand 
before his eyes, reflected thus : AVicked men, 
it is true, instigated by him who is its prince, 
often abuse darkness, and pervert it to the commission 
of acts of guilt and shame ; but I see in it traces, which 
few suspect, of the hidden goodness and wisdom of God. 
Night, with its darkness, serves to cool and refresh the 
drooping plants, watering them with wholesome dew. It 
sharpens the sight by giving the eyes time to recover 
their optic power. It is of equal benefit to the mind. 

1 Psalm xxxvi. 8. 



By day, distracted with the multiplicity of the objects 
presented by the senses, the mind cannot duly weigh 
them all ; but night, wrapping the head in her black 
mantle, secludes us from the external world, and gives 
it solitude and leisure for deep and calm reflection. 
Besides, what is darkness but a sombre curtain which 
God in His kindness hangs about our beds, that our rest 
may be tranquil and undisturbed, whilst He who neither 
slumbers nor sleeps, keeps watch, like the mother over 
her child ? 

Grant, God ! that when I awake in the night, I may 
think of Thee, and employ my mind in contemplating 
Thy inconceivable goodness. And do Thou also, amidst 
the darkness, cause Thy light to shine into my soul ! 


OTTHOLD was one day occupied with impor- 
tant business, and deeply absorbed in thought, 
"^^ßy^ when his daughter unexpectedly entered the 
^^^5 room, bringing a paper stating the case of a 
poor widow, with the causes of her penury, and solicit- 
ing an alms in her behalf. Losing his temper, he spoke 



harshly to the girl, and, in an ill-humor, flung to her 
the sum she asked. He soon, however, recollected 
himself, and cried out : Wretched man that* I am ! 
how fair the show which my Christianity often presents, 
to myself at least, and how boldly I venture to say, 
" Lord Jesus, Thou knowcst all things. Thou knowest 
that I love Thee ; " and yet, now that my Saviour has 
come and craved a mite for this poor widow, as a prac- 
tical evidence of my affection, I take offence at Him for 
disturbing my poor thoughts, though for so short a 
time, and so good a cause. Go now, and plume thy- 
self on thy faith and piety ! My God ! Thou invitest 
me to come to Thee whenever my pleasure leads, or my 
necessities compel me ; and, come when I may, never 
is my coming unseasonable or inopportune. Thou hast 
the whole world to govern, and yet I trouble Thee not 
though I break in at morning, noon, or night, and 
claim an alms from Thy mercy. How conceited I must 
be to reckon my concerns and cogitations of greater 
moment than the prayers and sighs of my suffering fel- 
low-Christian ! I now see that sin is rashness, and have 
good cause henceforth to give a more gracious recep- 
tion to the Lord Jesus in His members, lest in my hour 
of need He turn His back upon me. God loveth a 
cheerful giver.^ A benefaction to the poor should be 
like oil, which, when poured from one vessel into an- 
other, flows in silence, and with a soft and gentle fall. 

1 2 Corinthians ix. 7. 



An alms reluctantly bestowed, is like a rose spoiled and 
discolored with the fumes of sulphur, like sanded flour, 
or over-salted meat. He who exerciseth charity with a 
reluctant heart and angry words, resembles the cow 
which yields her milk, but overturns the pail with her 


OTT HOLD went on to say : To good men, sin 
and infirmity are festering sores, which give 
them pain, and from which they seek to be 
relieved. By the ungodly, on the contrary, 
sin and infirmity are prized as a jewel, and regarded as 
a distinction and an ornament. 

My God ! I beseech Thee, from my inmost heart, save 
me from the love of sin. May even the most venial 
faults give me pain. Daily admonish and correct me, 
whether by Thy Word and Spirit, or by a sincere and 
Christian friend, or by anxiety and heaviness of heart, 
or by the cross, or by whatever other means you please. 
"When I sin, may I be instantly sensible of it, and 
heartily and humbly seek and obtain from Thee pardon 
through Jesus Christ. 




WOMAN had put a hank of yarn upon a reel, 
intending to wind it into a ball ; but, as the 
thread would not run as she wished, she lost 
patience, and pulled it to and fro. This, liow- 

' ever, only made the evil worse, for it multiplied : 
the ends, until she no longer knew which to draw. ; 
Gotthold looked on in silence, but thought with him- 
self : I now see how it happens that the interference of ' 
third parties only complicates quarrels. The reason is, ; 
because they bring to them more of needless anger and I 
zeal than of judicious moderation and skill. Many 
a matter might easily be settled if we only knew the ; 
right end by which to take hold of whimsical and wilful « 
minds. Worldly disputes are almost all like this yarn ; 1 
whosoever ventures to meddle with them, except with a I 
meek and sober heart, will do no good. It is folly for ! 
any man to expect that all things shall or can be made \ 
square with his views. He acts a wiser part who tries j 
to accommodate himself to seasons and circumstances, 
so far as he can with a safe conscience. Many a one j 
complains of the tangled yarns and whimsical cljarac- : 
ters with which he has to do, without being conscious ] 
that Iiis own hat covers as much oddity, and that that I 
gives other people no less occasion to complain of him. 




My God ! In my vocation I must daily expect to 
meet with tangled yarns. Give me a meek and prudent 
heart, that I may always find the right end to draw ! 

— ^ a^oo 


OTTHOLD and some friends were in the act 
of starting on a journey, which was to occupy 
several days. All was ready, and the carriage 
at the door ; but one of the party did not make 
his appearance, and, on being sent for, it was 
found that he had not packed his clothes, or made the 
other necessary preparations. He arrived at last, how- 
ever, and they drove off ; when Gotthold said : We must 
not allow you to escape with impunity for having now 
delayed and detained us a whole hour ; and your pun- 
ishment shall be to listen to a good and salutary admo- 
nition, and bear it about constantly in your mind Do 
you know, then, whom you have this day been imitat- 
ing ? — the children of the world. For these fmd, or 
make for themselves, so much to do with the world's 
vanities, that they never are in a state of readiness for 
departing out of it, They do not think of death, and 



SO postpone to the last hour the collecting of their trav- 
elling gear ; by which I mean, exercising repentance, 
faith, confession, prayer, and holy living. Never till 
then do they set their house in order, make their will, 
or attempt to disengage themselves from the world, 
which has often, however, taken so strong a hold of 
them, that they quit it only with reluctance and secret 
or open murmuring. There are not many, says a wise 
Dutchman, who finish their lives before they die. Very 
few go, most are dragged, to the grave ; and, instead of 
leaving the world, they are hunted out of it. Prepa- 
ration for deatli seems to me of vast moment, and the 
neglecting or postponing of it good for neither living 
nor dying. 



tj\t Cljiltr at f lag, 

LITTLE boy was running about in an apart- 
ment, amusing himself as children are accus- 
tomed to do. His money was potsherds, his 
house bits of wood, his horse a stick, and his 
child a doll. In the same apartment sat his 
father, at a table, occupied with important matters of 



business, which he noted and arranged for tlie future 
benefit of his young companion. The child frequently 
ran to him, asked many foolish questions, and begged 
one thing after another as necessary for his diversion. 
The father answered briefly, did not intermit his work, 
but all the time kept a watchfnl eye over the child, to 
save him from any serious fall or injury. Gotthold was 
a spectator of the scene, and thought with himself: 
How beautiful an adumbration of the fatherly care of 
God ! We too, who are old children, course about in the 
world, and often play at games which are much more 
foolish than those of our little ones ; we collect and scat- 
ter, build and demolish, plant and pluck up, ride and 
drive, eat and drink, sing and play, and fancy that we 
are performing great exploits, well worthy of God's 
special attention. Meanwhile, however, the Omniscient 
is sitting by, and writing our days in His book. He 
orders and executes all that is to befall us, overruling 
it for our best interests in time and eternity ; and yet 
His eye never ceases to watch over us, and the childish 
sports in which we are engaged, that we may meet with 
no deadly mischief. 

My God ! such knowledge is too wonderful for me. 
It is high, and I cannot attain unto it; but I shall thank 
and praise Thee for it. my Father! withhold not 
from me Thy care and inspection, and, above all, at 
those times when, perhaps, like this little one, I am 
playing the fool. 




ÖCI^^ ||t0rnxng Star* 

Raying once, at break of day, beheld the morn- 

' tonishment at beholding, for the first tnne, | 
this bright and charming orb. Men often tell us, and \ 
sometimes falsely, of new and wondrous stars ; but, to \ 
me,vevery time I behold it, this one appears to have i 
acquired new and additional lustre, and to be a pecu- i 
liar marvel of the firmament. Nor can it fail to remind 
me of Thee, Lord Jesus ; for dost Thou not call Thy- 
self the bright and morning star ? ^ It is not fiery red ; 
it darts no sparkling flame around ; but from its bright 
lamp pours so sweet and silvery a radiance, that we 
never weary of gazing upon it. And even so, my Sa- 
viour, Thou art not passionate, merciless, or wrathful ; 
but so gentle are the rays which Thy Divine and incon- 
ceivable love sheds upon us, that only he who does not 
or will not know, can lielp loving Thee. My soul : 
never tires of contemplating Thee ; and never turns to i 
Thee one look or tliought without experiencing Thy j 
consolatory ligiit. The rising of tlio morning star is ! 

ing star beaming in all its pomp and beauty, 
^ Gotthold thought with himself: Even a half- 
brutal heart could not but be struck with as- 

1 Revelation xxii. G. 




the signal of the approach of day ; and even so, when 
Thou, Lord Jesus, shinest into my heart, the dawn 
commences ; the darkness of sin, ignorance, and sor- 
row, disappears ; and the day of salvation gives me 
light and alacrity to walk before Thee in the paths of 
peace and holiness. How many complain that they 
have no star! — by which they mean, no good fortune. 
For my part, I have a most propitious one ; and that 
art Thou, Lord Jesus, the bright and morning star, 
from whom I derive success and blessing on all, and in 
all things which in Thy name I attempt and under- 



T happened that a royal personage made his en- 
trance into a town with great pomp and solem- 
nity, and that a friend of Gotthold's was heard to 
say, on the occasion, that he wished he were a 
prince, to enjoy such splendor. To this Gottliold 
answered : You do not know what you wish. What is 
all this magnificence — the costly robes, the long guard 
in van and rear, the brilliant reception — but a specious 



disguise of the thousand hardships and cares which bur- 
den royalty ? A worthy Christian prince may have 
many servants around him, and yet he must himself be 
the servant of all his subjects. Others have their several 
offices and duties, but he is responsible for all. He 
must have a watchful eye, and wake when others sleep ; 
an acute ear, to hear in a moment the complaints of the 
oppressed ; an eloquent mouth, to decide justly in cares 
of dispute ; and an active hand, to punish the guilty 
and redress the innocent. His head must be a fountain 
of grave and weighty thoughts for the benefit of his 
country, and his heart a repository of anxieties of every 
kind. As the summit of a lofty mountain is most ex- 
posed to frost and tempests, and frequently covered deep 
with snow, which, when melted, irrigates and fertilizes 
the valleys around, even so a prince is indeed exalted 
above others, but on that very account is peculiarly 
liable to adversities, and cumbered with burdens, which 
redound to the advantage and safety of his realm. He 
is like a taper, which ministers with its light to others, 
but consumes itself. In wishing to be a prince, there- 
fore, you wish for a prince's burden, and a prince's 
troubles, and, what is worst of all, for a prince's respon- 
sibility at the judgment-seat of Christ. 

My God ! for my part, I have no desire to be any- 
thing but what Thou hast made me. I grudge not the 
great and mighty what Thou givest to them. Nay, I know 
not that I would exchange my poverty for their riches, 



my solitude for their attendance, my low degree for 

their lofty rank. One thhig, however, I do implore : j 

Let me reign over the sin that dwells in my nature. ! 

Teach me to govern myself, and grant that I may one i 

day be permitted humbly to enter the celestial city, ^ 
welcomed by Thy holy angels, and wearing the crown 
of life. 


oo^^oo ■ ! 


OTT HOLD one day saw a boy standing upon 
the bank of a lake, and casting pebbles into 
^^^^^^y^ its smooth and tranquil water. The effect 
was, as usual, that each, as it fell, pro- 
duced a number of circles upon the surface, which 
were small at first, but became gradually wider and 
wider, until at last they dih^appcarcd from the view. 
Here, said he to himself, I have a pleasing emblem 
of my inquisitive mind, when it applies its reflection 
to the calm and deep ocean of divine truth. If I 
begin seriously to ponder the wondrous dealirigs and 
holy purposes of my God, I always see one divine bene- 
fit and proof of wisdom appearing behind another; or 




if I have searched, in some measure, one little circle 
of His ways, I perceive a thousand others, all widening 
as they recede, which at last fill me with awe, so that 
I stop and exclaim : Oh, the depths of the riches, hoth 
of the wisdom and knowledge of God I How unsearch- 
able are His judgments, and His ways past finding 
out.^ Many, Lord, my God! are Thy wonderful 
works, which Thou hast done, and Thy thoughts to 
US-ward. They cannot be reckoned up in order unto 
Thee. If I would declare and speak of them, they are 
more than can be numbered. 


^SITING a paper-mill one day, Gotthold fell 
into the following train of thought : And so 
paper — that article so useful in human life, 
that repository of all the arts and sciences, 
tliat minister of all governments, tliat broker in all 
trade and commerce, that second memory of the human 
mind, that stable pillar of an immortal name — takes 

1 Romans xi. 33. 



its origin from vile rags ! The rag-dealer trudges on 
foot, or drives his cart through the towns and villages, 
and his arrival is the signal for searching every corner, 
and gathering every old and useless shred. These he 
takes to the mill, and there they are picked, waslied, 
mashed, shaped, and sized ; in short, formed into a 
fabric beautiful enough to venture unabashed even into 
the presence of monarchs and princes. This reminds 
me of the resurrection of my mortal body. When 
deserted by the soul, I know not what better the body 
is than a worn and rejected rag. Accordingly, it is 
buried in the earth, and there gnawed by worms, and 
reduced to dust and ashes. If, however, man's art and 
device can produce so piire and white a fabric as paper 
from filthy rags, what should hinder God by His mighty 
power to raise from the grave this vile body of mine, 
and refine and fashion it like unto the glorious body of 
the Lord Jesus Christ ? ^ 

Yes, God of might ! Thou canst do exceeding abun- 
dantly above all we can ask or think.^ For this reason 
I shall be willing and happy to die whenever it is Thy 
will, for I know, that instead of this body, which is 
needy and weak, vile and corruptible. Thou wilt give 
me another, which will be holy and perfect, vigorous 
and immortal, and wilt inscribe upon me, as upon a 
spotless sheet, divine wisdom, celestial brightness, and 
ineffable glory. 

1 Phil. iii. 21. 2 Eph. iii. 20. 




NSPECTINGa sliow-dish, which had been made 
to adorn the table at a coming banquet, Gotthold 
began : The world still cherishes her ancient 
tastes, and seeks enjoyment in yanitj. Right 
well does she know that such a dish as this is a 
mere painted figure of wood, wax, and other mate- 
rials ; and, except for the pains and labor that have 
been spent upon it, worth little or nothing. And 
yet she fancies that she is specially honored and en- 
tertained when so worthless a thing is served up, and 
presented for a while to her view. We have another 
instance of this in paintings. I have seen the picture 
of a monk — of an old, wrinkled woman — of a beg- 
gar with tattered clothes — purchased for a hundred, 
nay, sometimes for more than a thousand dollars ; and 
that -by persons wlio would have scorned to waste a 
word upon a real monk, or so much as a look upon 
a real old woman, and would not have given an actual 
living beggar a penny to keep him alive. It thus ap- 
pears that man is not only pleased to be deceived by 
a skilful hand, but even rewards the deceptive art with 
large sums of money. Surely every man walketh in 


a Tain show.^ What is their pleasure ? Yanitj. TThat 
their skill ? Deception. What their honor ? Folly. 

Mj God ! the beautiful firmament — the ^vork of 
Thy fingers — shall be my show-dish, and the cruci- 
fied Jesus my picture. In the former, I contemplate 
what Thy hand has prepared for our felicity ; in the 
latter, the means by which that felicity may be at- 
tained. Away with all that is vain ; my only wish 
is for a blessed eternity. 

c c. 

NE day a lady of rank and great piety com- 
plained that, whereas in Scripture the cross is 
everywhere spoken of as useful and necessary for 
the children of God, yet she, for her part, must 
acknowledge, that hitherto the Lord had never 
deemed her worthy of one, and that this often raised 
within her melancholy thoughts and doubts whether she 
was one of His children or not. Gotthold said to her : 
I confess that complaints like yours are not common, 
inasmuch as few Christians have any ground to lament 

1 Psa'm xxxix. 6. 



a lack of the cross, while others, whose sliare of it is 
exceedingly small, nevertheless imagine that it is quite 
as large as tliey are ahle to bear ; and in particular, 
those who are yet unaccustomed to it, are prone to 
fancy that their cross is too great and heavy for them. 
As for your case, however, it seems to me that you are 
actually bearing a cross without being conscious of it. 
You are vexed with gloomy thoughts because you have 
no cross. These gloomy thoughts, however, appear to 
me to be themselves a considerable cross, and also a 
very salutary one ; for they not only evince, but nourish 
and augment your desire to resemble the Lord Jesus, 
and to take up your cross and follow Him. Besides, 
the words of our Saviour, " Whosoever doth not bear 
his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple," 
relate not merely to the common hardships of human 
life, but are also and especially to be understood of the 
crucifixion of the old man, of his sinful lusts and de- 
sires, of self-denial, and the subjugation of the will. 
For the rest, we cannot and ought not to make crosses 
for ourselves, for this would end in hypocrisy. The 
Lord holds the cup of affliction in His own hand, and 
pours out of it when and as much as He will. That He 
has spared you hitherto, acknowledge with humble 
gratitude ; He is the searcher of our hearts, and per- 
haps knew that, with the cross, your heart would not 
have felt towards Him as it has done without it. Recol- 
lect, liowe^ er, that the drama of your life has not yet 




been played to the end, and that, for anght you know, 
your gracious God may still have some little cross in j 
reserve for you, to be imposed in due time. The fiercest 
tempests often come in the evening of the finest summer ^ 
days, and it is after the pure wine has been run off, 
that the lees are wont to follow. It ought to be another 
ground for gratitude to God, that He has given you 
time to prepare for all emergencies, and provide your- 
self with the armor necessary for your defence. 

Finally, you live in the midst of Christians who are 
distressed with poverty and affliction, and groaning un- 
der crosses of all kinds ; and, being a member of the 
body of the Lord Jesus, you will sympathize with them, | 
your fellow-members, and take their sufferings and pri- ' 
vations to heart. When you see any mourner, mourn 
with him and cheer him. To him who falls and is 1 
ready to sink beneath the weight of his cross, stretch . 
out a friendly hand, and help him to rise. Feed the 
hungry, clothe the naked, give drink to the thirsty, let 
your superfluities be the source from which the wants i 
of pious Christian brethren are supplied. In this man- 
ner make yourself a partaker of the afflictions of others, ' 
and render to them the service which Simeon of Cyrene 
did to our Lord Jesus, by helping them to bear thei^ ' 
cross. By enlisting into their company, you will be ■ 
sure to pass as one of the genuine cross-bearers. ' 

Lord Jesus ! give me the mind of Thine apostle, who j 
knew both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound j 



and suffer want.^ If Thou spare me, I will thank and 
ferventl}" love Thee ; and if Thou layest a cross u[)on me, 
I will still tliank and love Thee no less. What knoAv I 
what is good for me ? But Thou knowest it, for Thou 
knowest all things. 


HE weather had been warm and pleasant for 
several successive weeks, wlien some one ex- 
claimed : Alas ! what will come of these sultry 
days? What must be the consequences of so 
^ long a tract of sunshine, without a drop of 
rain ? Gotthold replied : What say you ? Are you 
displeased that Heaven is kind, and that the fair sun 
has been, as it were, smiling upon us for so long a 
time ? Yes, rejoined the other ; but we must look be- 
fore us ; for, as the crops in the field and the fruit in 
the garden are in the meanwhile drying up and with.- 
ering, these land smiles of the heavens may probably 
cause bitter weeping upon earth. Well, said Gotthold, 
if that be the case, let this weather remind us that tem- 
poral prosperity, which is usually compared to pleasant 

1 Phil. iv. 12. 



sunsliine, frequently proves as little beneficial to us, as 
continued good weather to the crops. The dense and 
gloomy clouds which, with tlieir discharges of thunder 
and lightning, shake and terrify the earth, and water 
it with drenching rain, are not pleasant ; but they 
make the herb of the field rejoice, and man and beast 
along with it. Light comes out of the darkness, and 
blessing accompanies the rain. Similar are the effects 
of trouble and adversity upon the mind. They cause 
pain and sorrow, but are succeeded by spiritual and 
divine satisfaction and joy. On the contrary, a long 
continuance of temporal prosperity is wont to be the 
harbinger of some great misfortune, or even of eternal 
jjcrdition, as we see in the case of the rich man in the 
gospel, and a thousand others. For there can be no 
doubt that you will search longer for one individual 
vvliom misfortune and adversity have driven to despair 
and ruin, than for a thousand whom success and pros- 
perity have undone. Let us, therefore, at all times be 
suspicious of our good fortune ; and just as, on sultry 
days like this, we are assiduous in watering our gar- 
dens, that the crops may not wither, so in the time of 
our prosperity let us be diligent in prayer, that God 
may not deny us. His grace, nor take away from us His 
Holy Spirit, and that so by His governance we mny 
walk prudently and humbly, and never pervert our 
temporal prosperity into the means of our eternal 



Caking fills. 

yfer\N invalid who had been ordered a couiDle of pills, 
took them very absurdly ; for, in place of swal- 
Vv^^/a lowing them at once, he rolled them about in 
his mouth, ground them to pieces, and so tasted 
* their full bitterness. Gotthold was present, and 
thus mused : The insults and calumnies of a slanderer 
and adversary are bitter pills, and all do not understand 
the >art of swallowing without chewing them. To the 
Christian, however, they are wholesome in many ways. 
They remind him of his guilt ; they try his meekness 
and patience ; they show him what he needs to guard 
against, and at last they redound to his honor and glory 
in the sight of Him for whose sake they were endured. 
In respect to the pills of slander, however, as well as 
the others, it is advisable not to roll them about 
continually in our minds, or judge of them according 
to the flesli, and the world's opinion. This will only 
increase thr3ir bitterness, spread the savor of it to the 
tongue, and fill the heart with proportional enmity. 
The true way is to swallow, keep silence, and forget We 
must inwardly devour our grief, and say: I will be 
dumb and not open my mouth, because Thou didst it.-^ 

1 Psalm xxxix. 2, 9 



The best antidotes to the bitterness of slander, are the 
sweet promises and consolations of Scripture, of which 
not the least is this: Blessed are ye when men shall 
revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner 
of evil against you falsely for My sai^e. Rejoice and be 
exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven.^ 

Alas, my God ! how hard it is to swallow the pills of 
obloquy ! to bless them that curse me, to do good to 
them tliat hate me, and to pray for them that despite- 
fully use me ! But, Lord, as Thou wilt have it so, give 
it as Thou wilt have it ; for it is a matter in which, with- 
out Thy grace, I can do nothing. 

— <x>>@<oo. 


FRIEND mentioned to Gotthold that he had 
seen a kite hovering in the air, and marking 
its quany, and inquired of him, whether so 
rapacious a bird could furnish him with a 

^ theme for edifying thought. To this Gotthold 
replied : Why not ? Such a bird delights in the free 
air, and soars aloft, as if it would fain approach to 

1 Matt. V. 11, 12. 



heaven ; all the while, however, it keeps its sharp eye 
continually directed to the earth, if haply it may there 
spy and seize a prey. And like it are hypocrites ; they 
love to speak of heavenly and spiritual things ; they go 
to church, and take the holy supper; they read, and 
pray, and sing ; but, nevertheless, their heart retains 
its earthly inclination, and they seek that which is 
temporal more than that which is eternal. 


^^Ijsy^OR amusement, a gentleman used to throw 
^ crumbs of bread, and occasionally a handful 
^^yf^^ of barley, to his hens, from the parlor win- 
)^^^ ' dow. By this means they had not merely 
learned the custom of rushing to it the mo- 
ment it opened, but likewise often stationed them- 
selves beneath it, and signified by their cries that 
they had a boon to beg. Gotthold saw this, and ob- 
served : Hens do to us as Ave do to God. He has 
often heard our cry, and given us tlie blessings we 
required for our spiritual and bodily nourishment, and 
has thereby, so to speak, habituated us to resort to 



Him on all occasions, and never to desist till we again 
receive His gifts ; and this He does, although we are 
less profitable to Him than hens are to iis. I have 
often wondered at the boldness shown by His children 
in their intercourse with Him, and not less at the lov- 
ing-kindness and benignity of so great a potentate, in 
not only bidding us pray, but declaring that He is well 
pleased when, in our prayers, we are not merely bold, 
but, if I may so say, shameless. 


Y God ! I conclude this book, as I began it, 
in the name of Jesus. Its good thoughts, if 
any such it contain, are but sparks of Thy 
heavenly light ; and whither ought the flame 
to point, or to whom aspire, but to Thee ? All 
glory, honor, and praise, are justly Thine ; and seeing, 
as I do, that of myself I am unequal to the task of 
praising Thee for the goodness which Thou hast shown 
me all my life, I have tried if I could not by these 
meditations stir up the hearts of others, and prevail 
upon them to unite with me in praising Thee as the 



glorious, loving, merciful, only wise, and righteous God. 
As the lire was mine which kindled their oblation, I 
-washed to look upon it, although offered upon anoth- 
er's altar, as in some measure coming from me. my 
God ! could I publish Thy praise with a thousand 
tongues and hearts, and prolong it through all eternity, 
it would still fall short of Tliy deserts. Thou hast 
merited infinitely more at my hands. Let this book, 
then, praise The^ ; or rather, let it be a testimony how 
willingly I would publish and extend Thy praise, and 
show forth Thy goodness to all the world, not only dur- 
ing my life, but even after my decease. If, however, 
there be anything in the book which has not been medi- 
tated on with the devotion, humility, and awe, nor im- 
parted to others with the tender affection required by 
Thy majesty and my own duty, mercifully forgive it ; 
and remember that even the holiest thoughts have been 
pondered in a sinful heart, the words uttered by a hu- 
man tongue, and tlie pen wielded by an unclean hand. 
Yet still I am, and forever shall be, Thy servant. 




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LITTLE MARY. An Illustration of the Power of Jesus to Save even the 
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GATHERED LILIES; or. Little Children in Heaven. By Rev. A. C. 
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SAFE HOME; or, the Last Days and Happy Death of Fanny Kenyon. With 
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D., LL. D., &c., late Professor of Anatomy and Surgery at Dartmouth College, 
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THE EVENING OF LIFE ; or. Light and Comfort amidst the Shadows 
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RUTH ; A Song IN the Desert. lOrao, cloth, flexible covers, gilt, 60 cts.; 
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TM:E PTJUITANS ; or, nie Court, Church, and Parliament of England, dur' 
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It will be fornd the most interesting and reliable History of the Puritans yet published, narrating, 
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THE PKEACHEJl ANJD THE KIXG ; or, Bourdaloue in the Court of 
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TBE miEST AND THE HITGUEXOT ; or. Persecution in the Age of 
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litical Sermons of the Period of 1770. With an Historical Introduction, Notes, 
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imer, and Knox, the representative men of Germany, France, England, and 
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W03IAN AND HER SAVIOUR in Persia. By a Returned 3Iission- 
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LIGHT IN DARKNESS ; or, Christ Discerned in his True Character by a 
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tures, delivered in tlie Oxford University Pulpit, in the year 1858, on the 
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THE CRUCIBLE or, Tests of a Regenerate State ; designed to bring to 
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ßev. William L. Parsons, D. D. i2mo, cloth, 1.50. 


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" Wo have in this edition ot Ciudeu the best made better." ~ Puritan Recorder. 

SCItlf TUREH ; or, the Bible presented under Distinct and Classified 
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TUBE. Condensed from tlio larger work. By tlie Author, Joiix Kn ro, 
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A Dictionary of the Bini,E. Serving also as a Commextart, embodying the products of 
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America have been engaged. 

KITTO'S HISTOR Y OF BALESTINE, from the Patriarchal Ag-e to the 
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Country, tlio Customs and Institutions of the Hebrews. By John Kitto, 
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«3- A work admirably adapted to the Family, the Sabbath School, and the week-day School Li- 


Westcott, M. a., late Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. AYitli an Intro- 
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t^T A masterly work by a master mind. 

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CiT Admirable in spirit, and profound in argument. 

reference to the Doubts and Discoveries of Slodern Times. In Eight Lectures, 
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Geo. Rawlixsox, A., Editor of tlie Histories of Herodotus. With tlie Co- 
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"The consummate learning, .iud}:ment, and general ability, displayed by Mr. Rawlinson in big 
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